Property owners in the Creston Valley and East Shore shouldn’t be in for much of a surprise when they open their 2013 assessment notices this week.
“Assessments in the Kootenay Lake area have decreased modestly from the 2012 assessment roll,” said Dennis Hickson, deputy assessor for BC Assessment, from his office in Nelson. “For example, a typical single family home in Creston that was valued at $277,000 for the 2012 assessment roll is valued at $267,000 for the 2013 assessment roll. In Kaslo, a single family home that was valued at $186,000 for the 2012 assessment roll is valued at $179,000 for 2013.”
Creston area owners of commercial and industrial property can expect assessments in the plus- or minus-five per cent range, he added.
Assessments are not directly related to tax rates, so a decrease in value from last year will not necessarily be reflected in a corresponding decrease in tax rates. Municipalities and regional districts determine their 2013-14 budget needs, and then tax rates are calculated. Local tax rates are not set until later in the winter.
The Town of Creston’s total assessment roll value dropped by about two per cent from 2012 values, moving from $708 million to $694 million. The total value of rural property around Creston and Kaslo, including the East Shore of Kootenay Lake, dropped from $2.2 billion to $2.1 billion. Property assessments are calculated to reflect the market value as reflected in sales.
Property owners who have concerns about their assessments have the opportunity to request further information and to challenge the values.
“Property owners who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2012, or see incorrect information on their notice should contact our office as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January,” Hickson said. “If a property owner is still concerned about the assessment after speaking to one of our 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 February 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.
The Nelson/Trail BC Assessment office is located at 502 Victoria Street in Nelson. During January, office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Property owners can contact BC Assessment at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322) or at www.bcassessment.ca, which also offers more information about the 2013 Assessment Roll, including lists of 2013’s top most valuable residential properties across the province.
New for 2013, property owners can also visit the website for an online customer service survey, available until Jan. 31.