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Penticton property assessments stable for 2014

If you haven’t received it already, be prepared for your property assessment to have dropped a bit this year.

According to the 2014 B.C. Assessment roll, residential home prices in the South Okanagan dropped this year, as compared to last. In Penticton, the average assessment of a Penticton home dropped from $374,000 on the 2013 roll to $372,000 this year.

“Most homes in the South Okanagan are remaining stable in value compared to last year’s assessment roll,” said Tracy Wall, Deputy Assessor.

“Most homeowners in the South Okanagan will see modest changes in the + 5 per cent to -5 per cent range.”

Over the entire South Okanagan, the assessment roll dropped almost $120 million, to  $19,516,491,502. The largest drop was in Keremeos, with a 6.6 per cent decrease in residential property values. Summerland was the only community where residential properties increased, rising by about .five per cent.

“We consider it a very modest amount. In years past there have been much greater fluctuations in the marketplace,” said Wall. “At this point in time, the market has remained relatively stable over the last two years.”

Colin Fisher, chief financial officer for Penticton, agrees the effect on the city’s property tax rates will be nominal.

Residential property values in the community, he said, dropped about 1.2 million out of an approximate $4.35 billion.

“If all remains the same, that would make a difference of approximately $5,000 overall at the current tax rate,” said Fisher. “The commercial assessment dropped by $1.7 million and that makes a difference of about $12,000.”

Fisher said that amount will have little effect on individual property taxes needed to meet the tax requirement in the 2014 budget adopted by council last week.

That document included an overall two per cent tax increase, representing an $26.98 increase in annual taxes for the average assessed home of $350,000, or $2.25 per month.

Unlike last year, Okanagan properties don’t appear in the top 500 properties in B.C. Top slot in the top 100 Okanagan properties goes to a West Kelowna lot valued at $7,543,000. A waterfront property in Summerland, valued at $4,142,000 is the South Okanagan’s first representative on the list, while Penticton shows up at #76, with a $3,736,000 property on Partridge Dr.

Compared to the early years of the century, Wall said property values are remaining much more stable.

“We were seeing double digit increases for a number of years before the economic meltdown in 2008 and after that things kind of dropped, and now for the last two years they’ve been kind of flat,” she said.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of B.C. Assessment, which replaced the previous system of municipalities calculating their own taxes.

That was considered something of a conflict because they determined the value of the properties, the basis of the tax and they also determined the tax,” said Wall.

“We are completely independent of any of the local governments and we don’t set any of the local tax rates. That helps with the fairness and equity in the assessment process.”

Property owners who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2013 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January, said Wall.

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 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel, added Wall.

Property owners can contact BC Assessment toll-free at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322) or through www.bcassessment.ca.

 

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