Property assessments show slight decrease

The B.C. Assessment Authority says most homeowners will see a change of less than five per cent compared to last year.

Property owners in the East Kootenay should be receiving their assessments in the next few days — including more than 14,000 property owners in Cranbrook —  but the results could be surprising for some.

The B.C. Assessment Authority says most homeowners will see a change of less than five per cent compared to last year, but some may see a significant decrease for the first time in years.

Assessments are considered a snapshot of the property value as of July 1, 2012, which predates some of the recent decline in real estate markets.

“Most homes in the Cranbrook area have declined slightly in value compared to last years assessment roll,” said Bradley Lane, Kootenay Region Area Assessor. “Most home owners in the City of Cranbrook will see only modest changes depending on location.

“For example, a typical single family home in Cranbrook that was previously assessed at $256,000 was valued at $250,000 in the summer of 2012.”

Overall, the City of Cranbrook’s Assessment Roll decreased from $2.67 billion last year to $2.63 billion this year. Lane said this value reflects a slight decline in most areas due to market movement as well as $17.9 million in growth due to subdivisions, rezoning and new construction.

Commercial and industrial property owners in Cranbrook will see changes in the zero to five per cent range.

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

The East Kootenay assessment office is located at Suite 200, 117 Cranbrook Street North in Cranbrook. During the month of January, office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Property owners can contact BC Assessment toll-free at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322).

Visit www.bcassessment.ca for more information about the 2013 Assessment Roll including lists of 2013’s top most valuable residential properties across the province.

In the province of B.C. as a whole, the biggest drops are expected to be in Whistler and Pemberton, and on the Sunshine Coast, Bowen Island and Vancouver’s west side.

Despite the decreases, Finance Minister Mike de Jong announced Wednesday that the threshold for the B.C. homeowners’ grant is increasing by $10,000 to $1.295 million.

The grant is set to make 95.5 per cent of homeowners eligible for the full amount, which is $570 in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts. The northern and rural benefit adds an extra $200 for homeowners outside those districts, an amount added to compensate rural people for extra costs of the carbon tax on fossil fuels.

With files from Tom Fletcher/Black Press