BC Assessment taking photos of local residences

BC Assessment will be in the area next week, taking pictures of residential properties for their files.

BC Assessments has engaged a contractor to take photographs of properties in the Cache Creek/Ashcroft area for two or three days beginning Aug. 10.

BC Assessment’s mandate is to ensure that all properties in B.C. are accurately, fairly and equitably assessed for property tax purposes. To keep our information up to date, we periodically take street front and aerial photographs, visit property owners or mail questionnaires to property owners asking a number of questions about their property, such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms and building dimensions.

This time, instead of appraisers walking slowly from house to house to inspect and photograph properties from the street, we have contracted a private company, Facet Technology, to update street front property photos using digital equipment mounted on a mobile van.

BCA’s Property Photo Update Initiative, and its collection of information, is authorized under sections 14 and 16 of the Assessment Act.

The project will take in all of the properties listed in the Thompson-Cariboo region from Merrit to Quesnel, but locally, that will include 280 properties in the Cache Creek area, 1,343 in Ashcroft and 107 in Lytton.

This is the only residential property photo update initiative currently planned for your neighbourhood in 2014.

Magnetic signs on both sides of the van will read: BC Assessment, Property Photo Update Initiative. The van driver will provide information upon request.

Photos will only be taken from the street (public right of way). The contractor, Facet Technology, is under a contractual obligation not to retain any personal information related to: Images of people on the property, Visible signage on a residence that may relate to the identity of a person, or Views of the interior of the residential improvements which are normally enclosed.

The pictures will be used by BC Assessment in its day-to-day business to provide more accurate residential property assessments. The photos will also be included with publicly available property information through BC Assessment’s online e-valueBC system at www.bcassessment.ca .

Property taxes won’t necessarily change as a result of this initiative. The municipality/regional district where your property is located sets the property tax rates, not BC Assessment. BC Assessment determines the market value of properties which form the basis of an equitable tax distribution amongst properties.