BC Assessment says Quesnel homes to see a drop in value

Home owners who question their assessment are advised to contact assessment office

Most home owners in the Gold Pan City and surrounding areas are going to see a drop in their 2012 property tax assessment.

“Most homes in Quesnel are worth somewhat less in value compared to last year’s assessment roll, while home owners in Wells have experienced a small increase,” deputy assessor for BC Assessment, Darin Johnson said.

“Most home owners in Quesnel will see a change in the -10 per cent to +5 per cent range. Homes in Wells will typically see a change from one percent to 10 per cent.”

However, some properties might see an increase of up to 20 per cent causing some home-owners to question the process.

Johnson said when BC Assessment produces a new assessment roll, there are a number of factors considered that can affect property value.

“Sales of similar properties in the local market place are analysed to reflect the market trends along with the physical characteristics of each property such as age, condition, quality and location,” he explained.

“If BC Assessment becomes aware of a physical change to a property such as an addition or new structure that was not previously on record, that information would be considered and may affect a change in value that is greater than or less than, other properties.”

Johnson added different neighbourhoods throughout a community can often be influenced by desirability or affordability and that is reflected by the sale prices within those neighbourhood’s.

So what does your assessment mean?

Johnson says it’s simply a reflection of the value of your home based on market conditions or physical changes.

“From a taxation perspective, the taxing authorities [e.g. the provincial and municipal government], set tax rates that are applied to the property’s assessed value and send the owner a property tax notice,” he explained.

“These taxing authorities apply property tax rates to ensure that sufficient revenues are collected to offset the costs of providing for important public services such as schools, hospitals and a variety of other services that benefit communities.”

Johnson said often property owners receiving their assessment assume an increase or decrease in their property assessment automatically translates into an increase or decrease in their property tax bill.

“This is not necessarily the case, since the determination of local tax rates is ultimately based on the budget requirements of your taxing authority,” he said.

“For example, if property assessments rise, and the costs of your local government remains stable, or even rises slightly, the tax rate can be reduced and still generate the required revenue.

“Conversely, if property assessments are reduced, and the cost of government remains stable or rises, tax authorities may choose to increase the tax rate to ensure a balanced budget.”

Property owners who feel their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2011 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact the office indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January.

If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of the appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by Jan. 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel.

The Property Assessment Review Panels, independent of BC Assessment, are appointed annually by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and meet between Feb. 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.

The Cariboo assessment office is located at Suite 202 – 350 Barnard Street in Williams Lake.

During the month of January, office hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Phone 250-392-2996 or toll free at 1-800-919-9918.

For additional information, go to www.bcassessment.ca.