Property assessments are in the mail, and homeowners in this region can expect to see that their properties have increased in value since last year. (Photo credit: BC Assessment Authority)

Local communities see large increases in property assessments

Ashcroft, Clinton, Lytton, and Lillooet all see major increases over 2019 assessments

According to the BC Assessment Authority, many homeowners in several area communities — including Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, Lillooet, and Lytton — can expect to see that the value of their property has increased since last year.

The 2020 assessment notices are in the mail, and reflect the market value of more than 280,000 properties in the Thompson Okanagan region as of July 1, 2019. While the Okanagan has largely remained stable since last year’s assessment, home values have risen consistently for most of Kamloops and the Thompson area, with Ashcroft, Clinton, Lytton, and Lillooet showing the highest increases.

“In terms of dollars it’s not really huge increases,” says Tracy Wall, BC Assessment Thompson Okanagan Deputy Assessor. “But when you look at the percentage [increases] it can be dramatic.”

Clinton has seen the value of the average property increase by $30,000, or 25 per cent, when compared with the 2019 typical assessed value. Ashcroft properties increased by $39,000 and Lytton properties increased by $22,000, both of which are 17 per cent higher than last year. Cache Creek properties increased by $18,000 (11 per cent).

Single Family Homes

by Community

2019 Typical Assessed Value

as of July 1, 2018

2020 Typical Assessed Value

as of July 1, 2019

%

Change

City of Kamloops $431,000 $461,000 +7%
Merritt $266,000 $289,000 +9%
Ashcroft $222,000 $261,000 +17%
Barriere $221,000 $246,000 +11%
Clearwater $230,000 $243,000 +5%
Lillooet $215,000 $257,000 +20%
Logan Lake $230,000 $245,000 +7%
Cache Creek $163,000 $181,000 +11%
Lytton $138,000 $160,000 +17%
Clinton $120,000 $150,000 +25%

Wall says that lack of housing stock is probably one of the causes behind the increased values. “The market is driven by supply and demand, especially if there hasn’t been much building over the years.”

The increase in assessed values in the Thompson region comes as property values have decreased in the previously red-hot Lower Mainland market. “What we’ve seen in many communities over the years,” Wall says, “is that people in the Lower Mainland who are selling their very valuable properties are looking at smaller communities, so that’s part of it.

“And there is also an element of local people selling their home and buying another one in the same community.”

Assessments are based on what a property would theoretically have sold for on July 1 of the previous year. “We look at sales and market activity around that date,” explains Wall. “We try to gather information through sales to determine what the assessments are, and this indicates that there was a lot of activity in these small communities between July 2018 and July 2019.”

She notes that something BC Assessment tries to do is educate people about the correlation between their property assessment and the actual taxes they pay, noting that a 17 per cent assessment increase does not mean taxes will go up by 17 per cent.

“We’ve seen this especially in the Okanagan and Lower Mainland: when assessments were going up, taxes weren’t. This the first year in many years that we’re seeing a downward trend in many communities, but that doesn’t mean taxes are going down. They’ll probably go up by the usual one or two per cent.”

The correlation between property assessments and taxes is explained on the BC Assessment website (https://www.bcassessment.ca/), which Wall encourages people to visit.

“We have a really great public website where you can look up your own assessment and click on all your neighbours to see what their assessment is.”

Homeowners who feel that their assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2019 can appeal it, although Wall notes that the number of people who do this is small.

“The number of people who contest their assessment is very low. Less than two per cent of the two million assessments we do each year appeal, and that number has been consistent since we started in 1974, which is an indicator that we’re doing a good job.”

Appeals must be filed by Jan. 31, 2020 and have to be in writing (letter, email, or through a form on the BC Assessment website). Appeals are heard beginning in early February and last through mid-March, with Wall saying that while anyone can have an in-person hearing, those who would prefer to do it via teleconference now have that option.

“It cuts down on travel and time, and that opportunity is available for most property types.”

However, she encourages people who still have questions about their assessment after visiting the website, or who notice that their assessment contains incorrect information, to call and speak with an appraiser before they launch an appeal. “They’re standing by to answer questions every weekday, and can often answer questions that don’t get answered on the website.”

The website also includes more details about 2019 assessments, property information, and trends, such as lists of 2019’s top valued residential properties across the province. In addition to access to the free assessment search service, property owners can unlock additional property search features by registering for a free BC Assessment custom account to check a property’s 10-year value history, store/access favourites, create comparisons, monitor neighbourhood sales, and use an interactive map. New for 2020, the website is fully mobile-friendly.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New wildfire springs up north of Clinton; lightning suspected as cause

Fire is not a flare-up of blaze that started on Aug. 1 near 51 Mile Creek

Financial assistance available for victims of flooding in TNRD

Government will pay 80% of eligible claims resulting from flood damage

Clinton RCMP looking for Citizens on Patrol program volunteers

Organizer hoping to have enough people to get program started in September

Free online course aims to keep care home residents, staff safe

Course gives basic COVID-19 information and safety procedures for visitors to protect the vulnerable

Flu immunization drop-in clinics not taking place this fall

Interior Health urging people to get flu shots through pharmacies, primary care centres

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Most Read