BC Assessment has released house assessments for the province. (THE NEWS ��� files)

B.C. Assessment value increases six per cent

Each year, the British Columbia Assessment (BCA) assesses property values across the province in order to determine the average value of homes.

Assessments are the estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2019 and physical condition as of October 31, 2019. The assessment is always carried out on the same date across the province in order to ensure that a fair evaluation is done, as the assessment is used as the base for property tax.

This year, the assessment concluded that single family residential homes in Golden rose approximately six per cent in value over the last year, with the average value assessed in 2019 coming in at $332,000 and rising to $353,000 for 2020.

“What this really means is that [Golden] is a stable market,” said Ramaish Shah, deputy assessor at B.C. Assessment. “I would consider anything from 0-10 per cent a stable market, where prices aren’t changing dramatically but at the same time homes are selling for more than they were the previous year.”

Last year, the assessment had Golden on the edge of what Shah considers to be the stable zone, when value of single family homes increased 10 per cent.

The assessment is based on the current market value of homes, which continue to grow across B.C. The six per cent raise in Golden’s property value is on par with other similar communities in the Kootenay Columbia region, where the change in value ranged from minus five per cent to 15 per cent.

“The Kootenays are fairly stable, we’re not seeing some wild swings in the market,” said Shah. “[Golden] is reflective of the rest of the Kootenays.”

While the assessment is used by the Town of Golden to determine property taxes for the next year, this six per cent raise does not necessarily correlate to a six per cent rise in property tax, according to Shah.

“If all other residential properties are going up the same amount, the tax rate gets adjusted to reflect that,” said Shah. “A six per cent change in your assessment doesn’t translate to a six per cent change in your property tax.”

The town will decide on tax rates in the next few weeks, after the adoption of the financial plan. Council will set the Tax Rate Bylaw, and once that is adopted, property tax notices will be mailed out, with the amount due to be paid in July.

Those who are not pleased with their property assessment are welcome to file an appeal with the property assessment review panel. The deadline to file an appeal is January 31, 2020. According to BCA, over 98 per cent of people accept their property assessment without appeal.

“If people have any questions about their assessment please give us a call and speak to one of our appraisers,” said Shah. “There’s also lots of good information on our website.”

The BCA website helps track property values over a number of years, and has features and tools that allow its users to compare their property value with similar homes. Go to www.bcassessment.ca for more information.

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