Kimberley home assessments down again

Home values in Kimberley continue downward trend for 2013.

BC Assessment is releasing 2013 property assessments to more than 7,200 property owners in Kimberley and surrounding areas this week.

2013 assessments show a continuation of a slight decline in property values, in Kimberley and throughout most of the East Kootenay.

“Many homes in the Kimberley area have declined slightly in value compared to last year’s assessment roll,” said Bradley Lane, Kootenay Region Area Assessor. “Most home owners in Kimberley will see only modest changes depending on location.  For example, a typical Kimberley single family home that was previously assessed at $213,000 was valued at $200,000 in the summer of 2012.”

However, it does depend on the area of town. Some values in certain neighbourhoods increased slightly. For instance, a home in Marysville valued at $279,000 last year has gone up to $284,000. Chapman Camp homes also rose slightly in value from $226,000 to $240,000. At Wasa Lake the average price rose from $623,000 to $632,000.

All other areas were down slightly. An average Townsite/Lois Creek home dropped from $205,000 to $181,000. Downtown area homes dropped from $158,000 to $141,000. At the ski hill, a home worth $495,000 last year dropped to $463,000 this year.

In addition, owners of commercial and industrial properties in the Kimberley area will see changes in the -5 to +5 per cent range.

An assessment increase or decrease does not necessarily mean your property taxes will go up or down. It depends on how close to the average your home price is. Assessed value is multiplied by Kimberley’s tax rate to determine the actual taxes paid.

“When estimating a property’s market value, an appraiser analyzes current sales in the area and other characteristics such as size, age, quality, condition, view and location,” Lane said.

“Later in the spring, taxing authorities (e.g. the provincial and municipal governments), set tax rates that are applied to the property’s assessed value and send the owner a property tax notice. 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.

“Often, property owners receiving their assessment will assume that an increase in their property assessment automatically translates into an increase 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. 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.”

Overall, the City of Kimberley’s assessment roll decreased from $1.12 billion last year to $1.05 billion this year. This value reflects a slight decline in most areas due to market movement as well as approximately $1.02 million in growth due to subdivisions, rezoning and new construction.

BC Assessment assesses 2013 properties reflecting their physical condition and permitted use as of October 31, 2012 using a valuation date of July 1, 2012. In determining assessed value, an appraiser considers a wide variety of factors such as size, age, shape, quality, condition and location of properties.

Services in the area (location, views, neighbourhood) and supply and demand may also influence property value.  Changes such as new construction or inventory, permitted use (e.g., zoning), property class, occupation, eligibility for an exemption or in the taxing jurisdiction boundary will be reflected on the assessment roll.

“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,” said Lane.“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, 2013 for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel,” said Lane.