BC Assessment has released its list of property values around the province, which are used to determine how much taxes property owners will pay in 2021.
The total value of real estate increased 4.2 per cent province-wide between July 1 2019 and July 1, 2020 – the period used to determine your 2021 assessment – but region-by-region, that number varied drastically.
For example, here in Campbell River, the assessment of the average single-family home went from $441,000 to $464,000 – an increase of 5.2 per cent. Residential properties in the surrounding rural area saw their values increase about the same amount, going from $402,000 to $421,000 – an increase of just under five per cent.
Just to the south, the City of Courtenay saw its average single-family home assessment go from $456,000 to $488,ooo for an increase of just over seven per cent, while the Village of Sayward to the north rose just over 2.5 per cent, from $234,000 to $240,000. In Tahsis the change was a whopping 36 per cent, going from $99,000 to $135,000.
In the “Strata Residential” category – consisting of condominiums, townhomes and patio homes, for example – the fluctuations from region to region were’t quite as wide.
While the percentage change in that category of homes in Campbell River was slightly above the increase in the single-family residential category at 7.7 per cent, the City of Courtenay saw less increase than in their single-family-residential assessments at four per cent. Cumberland’s “Strata Residential” assessment average came in at 6.5 per cent while their single-family residential increase was about the same: 6.2 per cent.
Now that assessments are in, municipalities can begin calculating their tax requisitions from property owners and getting them in the mail.
Campbell River’s municipal tax increase was approved late last year at 1.95 per cent, meaning those whose residential properties rose in assessed value by the average amount will see that increase to their tax bills. Those whose properties rose in assessed value less than the average will see a smaller increase over last year’s taxes – or even a decrease in their tax requisition.
Mayor Andy Adams pointed out at the conclusion of the 2021 financial deliberations that even more property owners than that will see an overall decrease in what they need to give the city next year, as expected decreases in both the regional solid waste services and hospital board requisitions – which the city collects and passes along – could lower residents’ tax bills by $80, which is more than the average home’s 1.95 per cent tax increase, which equates to $41.
He also admits, however, that this could come back to bite people in the future.
“Anytime you are having a tax rate [increase] that is less than the rate of inflation – or at least less than the highest cost to the city is increasing, and that’s our collective bargaining agreements – there is the risk that you’re encumbering future councils to make up that difference,” Adams says.