Over the next few days, owners of more than 71,500 properties throughout the Thompson area will be receiving their 2017 assessment notices. The notices reflect the market value of the property as of July 1, 2016, as determined by BC Assessment.
“The majority of residential home owners within the area can expect a modest change in value, compared to last year’s assessment,” says acting regional assessor Graham Held.
In Ashcroft, the assessed value of the average single family residential property increased from $215,000 on July 1, 2015 to $227,000 on July 1, 2016. During the same period Cache Creek went from $182,000 to $175,000; Clinton went from $106,000 to $108,000; Lytton went from $140,000 to $142,000; and Logan Lake went from $211,000 to $222,000.
Property assessments in Kamloops were up across the board, with Juniper Heights properties jumping from $452,000 to an average of $481,000. Sun Peaks has the region’s most expensive properties; the average single family residential property there jumped from $726,000 to $832,000.
Not surprisingly, the largest leaps were seen in urban areas such as Metro Vancouver, where assessed values increased between 30 and 50 per cent; Greater Victoria ( 10 to 40 per cent); and the Central Okanagan (five to 30 per cent).
Qualifying homeowners over the age of 55 can defer their property tax payments via a low-interest loan from the government. The deferred taxes are paid to local governments by the province, which recoups the money when the house is sold or transferred. It can sometimes take several months to process tax deferral applications, so those interested in taking advantage of the program in 2017 are encouraged to apply early (for information, go to http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes).
BC Assessment is an independent body that collects, monitors, and analyzes property data throughout the year. Changes in property assessments reflect movement in the local real estate market, and can vary greatly from property to property. When estimating a property’s market value, BC Assessment’s professional appraisers analyze current sales in the area, as well as considering other characteristics such as size, age, quality, condition, view, and location.
“Property owners can find a lot of information on our website (bcassessment.ca), including answers to many assessment-related questions,” says Held. “Those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2016, or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notices as soon as possible in January.
“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (appeal) by January 15 for an independent review by a property assessment review panel.”
More than 98 per cent of property owners typically accept their property assessment without proceeding to a formal review.