Commercial property owners often ask for their assessments to be reviewed.
That's because if B.C. Assessment tags land or buildings with high values, it leads to higher property taxes.
On May 14, two of Canada's best-known corporations were each able to receive a significant break, according to documents posted on the Property Assessment Appeal Board website.
Loblaw Properties West Inc.—a subsidiary of the Weston family–controlled Loblaw Companies Limited—reached an agreement with the assessor to reduce the valuation of its site at 439 North Road in Coquitlam.
The assessment for Cariboo Centre was cut 10 percent from $96,290,000 to $86,661,000 in 2018.
There was an identical 10 percent reduction in 2019 from $122,146,000 to $109,949,000.
Loblaw divisions include Shoppers Drug Mart, various grocery companies including Real Canadian Superstore, and the President's Choice brand.
Barrick Gold Corporation obtained an even larger reduction—27.8 percent—for two light industrial properties in the Downtown Eastside.
The site at 323 Alexander Street fell from $24,708,100 to $17,851,100, thanks to an agreement with the assessor.
Another parcel at 369 Alexander Street dropped from $13,205,900 to $9,540,900 for the same reason.
The two properties are currently listed for sale at $33,775,000, which is more than $6 million higher than the 2019 assessments.
Properties revalued in suburbs, too
They weren't the only two companies to win reduced assessments.
Port Living's 2018 assessment for its site at 711 Alexander Street in Vancouver fell 4.3 percent to $4,476,500 with the consent of the area assessor.
In Burnaby, Santosh Holdings Ltd. reached an agreement with the assessor for an 18 percent reduction in the 2019 valuation of 6739 Royal Oak Avenue. It went from $11,598,000 to $9,495,000.
In Surrey, Animus Business Corp. was given a 15 percent break on its site at 17893 64 Avenue in Surrey. The 2019 assessed value fell from $3,176,000 to $2,700,000.
The only assessment that went up in Metro Vancouver in the May 14 set of recommendations was Concord Pacific's site at 811 Carrall Street in Vancouver.
In 2019, it was originally valued at $16,165,000. The two parties agreed to increase that by adding $10,000 to account for the "improvement" on the land. (Improvement often refers to a building.)