Recently-mailed-out assessment notices will show increases in value for many property owners in Quesnel and Wells.
By now, owners of almost 248,000 properties throughout northern B.C. will have likely received their 2020 assessment notices, which reflect market value as of July 1, 2019, and for many property owners in this region, there won’t be very drastic changes, according to a press release from B.C. Assessment.
“For most of the region’s homes, it’s a bit of a mix of modest increases and decreases compared to last year’s assessments,” Deputy Assessor Jarret Krantz said in the release. “There are some exceptions, such as Terrace and Kitimat, where most homeowners will see increases of 20 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.”
As B.C.’s trusted provider of property assessment information, BC Assessment collects, monitors and analyzes property data throughout the year.
Assessments are the estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2019, and physical condition as of Oct. 31, 2019. This common valuation date ensures there is an equitable property assessment base for property taxation, according to B.C. Assessment.
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, B.C. Assessment’s professional appraisers analyze current sales in the area, as well as considering other characteristics such as a home’s size, age, quality, condition, view and location, according to the press release.
Overall, the Northern B.C. region’s total assessments increased from over $65.4 billion in 2019 to over $69.4 billion this year. A total of about $1.06 billion of the region’s updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.
The Northern B.C. region encompasses approximately 70 per cent of the province — stretching east to the Alberta border, north to the Yukon border, west to Bella Coola including Haida Gwaii, and to the south, just north of Clinton.
In Northern B.C., 2020 assessments for residential single-detached homes have changed in the range of minus-five per cent to plus-25 per cent in urban areas, as well as in rural areas.
For residential strata units (for example, condominiums), 2020 assessments have changed between minus-15 and plus-30 per cent in urban areas and from zero to plus-five per cent in rural areas.
The 2020 assessments for commercial properties in urban areas have changed from minus-five to plus-25 per cent, while they have changed in the range of minus-10 to plus-20 per cent in rural areas.
Light industrial properties will see a change from minus-45 to plus-10 per cent in urban areas and ranging from minus-15 per cent to plus-10 per cent in rural areas.
In Quesnel, the assessed value of single-family residential properties increased 13 per cent from $188,000 in 2019 to $212,000. Single-family residential properties in Wells saw a nine-per-cent increase in assessed value from $80,000 to $88,000.
Close to us, assessed values for single-family residential homes in Williams Lake rose seven per cent from $234,000 to $249,000, while residential property owners in 100 Mile House saw a decrease of one per cent, from $238,000 $236,000.
BC Assessment’s website at bcassessment.ca includes more details about 2020 assessments, property information and trends such as lists of 2020’s top valued residential properties across the province.
The website also provides self-service access to a free, online property assessment search service that allows anyone to search, check and compare 2020 property assessments for anywhere in the province. Property owners can unlock additional property search features by registering for a free B.C. Assessment custom account to check a property’s 10-year value history, store/access favourites, create comparisons, monitor neighbourhood sales, and use our interactive map. New for 2020, the website is fully mobile-friendly.
“Property owners can find a lot of valuable information on our website, including answers to many assessment-related questions, but those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2019, or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact B.C. Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January,” said Krantz.
After speaking to an appraiser, property owners who are still concerned about their assessment can submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel but must submit that notice by Jan. 31.
The Property Assessment Review Panels, independent of B.C. Assessment, are appointed annually by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and typically meet between Feb. 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.
“It is important to understand that changes in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding change in property taxes,” explains Krantz. “As noted on your Assessment Notice, how your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes.”
Property owners can contact B.C. Assessment toll-free at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322) or online at bcassessment.ca. During the month of January, offices are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.