Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River property values in a rut

When it comes to real estate values and activity Campbell River is stuck in a rut for another year.

The BC Assessment Authority released its 2013 property assessment rolls this week and the news continued to be lacklustre. Vancouver Island Regional Assessor Bill MacGougan reports: “Most homes in Campbell River and the surrounding rural areas will see moderate decreases or little change in value compared to last year’s assessment roll.”

This tepid forecast is reflected in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s numbers which show housing sales activity in the Campbell River region down four per cent last month compared to December 2011.

More than 21,000 property owners throughout Campbell River and Campbell River rural can expect to receive their 2013 assessment notices in the next few days, MacGougan says. “Most home owners will see modest changes in the -10 to +5 per cent range.”

Overall, Campbell River’s taxable residential assessment roll is $4.9 billion this year. A total of more than $55 million in new residential value has been added due to various changes including subdivision, rezoning and new construction.

Province-wide, the total value of real estate on the 2013 roll is $1.1 trillion up 2.3 per cent from 2012.

BC Assessment’s evaluation of local properties is a general assessment of market value which affects the overall distribution of property taxes paid to the City of Campbell River. The city uses the assessed value as the basis for distributing the tax load to individual properties.

The city determines property taxes independent of BC Assessment evaluations. The base budget for 2013 is $54.5 million, approximately two per cent higher than in 2012 due to contractual increases such as wages, energy and other non-negotiable items. City council will finalize the 2013 budget at the end of January. The budget is funded by user fees and senior government grants as well as property taxation. In 2012, property taxation funded approximately $23 million of the budget.

In 2013 a typical single family dwelling in the city will be assessed at $261,100, down $600 from 2012. A typical strata condominium will be assessed at $153,400, up $3,200 from last year. In the rural areas a typical single family home on less than two acres will be assessed at $286,100, down $5,900 from 2012. A typical single family dwelling on more than two acres will be assessed at $366,900, down $7,100 from 2012.

In general, commercial property assessments have changed within the -5 to +5 per cent range in Campbell River and Campbell River rural with a taxable commercial assessment roll of $512,994,734.

City Manager Andy Laidlaw says most individual residential property values in the Campbell River area appear to be the same or slightly higher than in 2012.  “Strata condominiums are the residential property type that shows, on average, an increase in value from last year with a slight decrease overall in single family dwellings within city boundaries.”

MacGougan says: “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. 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 Jan. 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel.”

In conjunction with the release of assessment rolls, the provincial government has also announced that more than one million homeowners may be eligible to receive the entire Home Owner Grant again this year as the province is increasing the threshold for the Home Owners Grant by $10,000 to $1.29 million to keep pace with rising property value assessments.

Finance Minister Michael de Jong says: “The Home Owner Grant helps keep property taxes affordable for families, even as property value assessments rise.

“By ensuring the Home Owner Grant threshold keeps pace with assessments, we’re helping families with the costs of owning their homes and ensuring at least 95.5 per cent of B.C. home owners are eligible for the full grant.

“Assisting home owners with their property taxes and providing tax deferral options to eligible home owners over 55, persons with disabilities and families with children are some of the assistance programs we provide to keep property taxes at affordable levels throughout the province.”



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