Vancouver property tax records to 2005 now available at the Archives

We are pleased to announce that after a significant transfer of records from the Revenue Services Department, the Archives can now make available property tax records up to 2005.

Map of assessment wards in the Municipality of Point Grey, with proposed changes, ~1927. Reference code: AM1594 : MAP 360

Unlike the majority of our previous holdings, these records are microfilm of tax statements (sometimes referred to as the tax roll), rather than assessments. However, the tax statements include the assessment information acquired from the BC Assessment Authority, one of the source data sets for the calculation of property taxes.

We have an almost-complete set of tax statements for the years 1976 to 2005 (1991 has yet to make its way to us), and the records include a variety of indexes that provide entry points to the records, which are organised by Tax account number.

Below you can see a sample statement (with owner’s name and address redacted):

Over the years, the statements become a little more complex as provincial grant programs and assessment averaging information are included, but the basics remain the same. The statements include:

  • assessed values of land and improvements;
  • Legal land description of the assessed property;
  • current civic address at the time of billing;
  • name and address of the registered property owner;
  • school, transit and other non-City levies that the City collects on behalf of other agencies;
  • non-tax City levies, such as Local Improvement and water rates charges;
  • information on tax reductions under various grant programs;
  • pre-payments made by the owner; and
  • interest charged on late or missing payments for previous billings.

With this transfer of City records, the CVA’s holdings of property tax records now include:

City of Vancouver (incorporated 1886-present, with significant additions 1911 and 1929):

  • 1887-1890 and 1929-1977 Property tax assessments: series COV-S435
  • 1971: Real property tax roll: series COV-S434
  • 1978-1990 and 1992-2005: Property tax statements: series COV-S289

Municipality of South Vancouver (incorporated 1892-1929, included Point Grey 1892-1908):

  • 1893-1895 and 1913-1927: Property tax assessments: series COV-SV-S221
  • 1895-1896: Property tax rolls: series COV-SV-S222

Municipality of Point Grey (incorporated 1908-1928)

Assessments for property in the region but not incorporated:

  • 1880-1898: New Westminster Assessment District assessments: AM619
  • 1896-1913: Vancouver Assessment District assessments: AM619

As a result of this transfer, we’ve taken the opportunity to update and revise our Property Tax Records Finding Aid, which lists and describes all the record series we have in our holdings relating to assessment and levying of property taxes going back to before the incorporation of the City.

You can download a copy of our new Property Tax Records Finding Aid from the Archives’ website or view it in the Archives’ Reading Room.

For researchers unable to come to the Archives to view these records, it is possible to have Archives staff conduct searches on your behalf. The charge for this service is $25.00 per property per year searched. Please contact the Archives by phone at 604-736-8561 or email archives@vancouver.ca to order tax records searches.

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