Property values in Kitimat spike nearly 35 per cent

BC Assessment released the new property value roll, and shows Kitimat with a substantial increase over last year.

The assessed roll value of properties in Kitimat jumped substantially for the 2015 figures.

BC Assessment revealed that among all classifications, Kitimat’s property values rose 34.76 per cent, from $1,467,317,000 to $1,977,342,000.

The residential roll specifically in Kitimat jumped higher, up 42.46 per cent, from $786,357,000, to $1,120,274,000.

The value of an average single family home in Kitimat went from $227,000 to $316,000

Kitimat actually only came in second place to communities with the largest roll increase over all classifications.

The District of Port Edward edged ahead of Kitimat’s 34.67 per cent increase, with a 26.61 per cent increase.

Still, their actual dollar amount isn’t as high, with their roll at just over $106 million. Kitimat’s over $1.9 billion wins that race, and also tops out at the highest value.

Terrace, by comparison, saw it’s roll rise by 30.61 per cent. Their average assessed value for a single family home is $317,000, up from $244,000.

BC Assessment Deputy Assessor Geoff Radtke said the assessed values are not decided on using speculation, so the prospect of major projects starting in 2015 didn’t weigh in to their accounting.

What does is actual sales records through the year.

“BC Assessment doesn’t value properties based on speculation,” he said. “We actually review sales evidence.”

The results come from the value of properties based on the sale of similar properties around the valuation date of July 1, 2014.

District of Kitimat Treasurer Steve Christiansen said that overall Kitimat will be ‘saved’ due to Terrace sharing a nearly as heavy rise. That’s because when it comes to regional taxes — such as school and hospital taxes — the communities most heavily burdened are ones with large assessed increases.

Kitimat took on the lion share of those taxes last year but now the burden can be more evenly shared.

Kitimat sets local property tax rates, but also collect on behalf of the other taxing authorities.

Kitimat’s flat tax, which accounts for about 60 per cent of a tax bill, also helps even out any wild fluctuations, said Christiansen.

Kitimat Council will be setting the next year’s tax rates later this year, but based on the previously established five-year plan for the town, local property tax rates are likely to increase around three per cent.

“If we follow the pattern…then it would be a three per cent increase for 2015 for the general, municipal portion,” he said, adding other tax rates have not been set, so he does not know what the eventual total tax bill will be for residents.

Also, any potential increase or decrease to a tax bill will follow how much they deviate for the average.

If a person’s home goes up over the 34 per cent average set by BC Assessment they might see a sharper bill increase, while those below the average could see a drop in the tax bill.

BC Assessment offers an e-valueBC service at their website at bcassessment.ca so people can better understand their home’s market value.

Property owners can also dispute their assessment by February 2, and have their case heard by a Property Assessment Review Panel.

 

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