Kitimat assessed values dropping, according to BC Assessment

The value of a single-family home in Kitimat is expected to drop 12 per cent.

Single-family homes in Kitimat will see a 12 per cent drop in assessed value, according to BC Assessment.

Across the north assessments are in general going up approximately 11 per cent, but there is a mix between highs and lows, some communities dropping by 30 per cent, or seeing their assessment rising by 16 per cent

The City of Terrace will see a two per cent drop for the same style home.

Overall BC Assessment says Northern B.C.’s assessment is rising from $57.3 billion to $59.5 billion this year.

“The majority of residential home owners within the region can expect a slight increase, compared to last year’s assessment,” said Deputy Assessor David Keough in a news release. “Most home owners in the Northern BC region will see changes in the 0-to-10 range. However, there are some home owners that will see an increase higher then 10 per cent while others will see a decrease, such as in the communities of Fraser Lake, Granisle and Tumbler Ridge.”

It’s said that $1.4 billion of the total assessed raise for the region is due to new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.

Prince Rupert is the nearest community that will see a direct rise in values, going up 13 per cent. Further down the highway in Smithers they’ll be going up three per cent.

The exact increase or decrease doesn’t directly relate to how property taxes are formulated for Kitimat homeowners, but it plays a part.

“Although our 2016 budget is preliminary, we plan on raising taxes three per cent on residential. I set one tax rate for the average residential increase,” explained District of Kitimat Treasurer Steve Christiansen. “If your assessment value drops 12 per cent, then you will realize a three per cent tax increase.”

If your home assessed value fell more than 12 per cent then your tax increase would be smaller than the three per cent.

On the other end if your value rises above that 12 per cent your tax increase would therefore rise as well.

It’s worth noting that Kitimat’s flat tax system means every property in town pays a portion with a single flat rate, which helps protect against wild tax fluctuations for home owners, and is based on the theory that every home uses the same basic level of service regardless of home value.

The 2016 municipal budget has not yet been set but each year the council does establish a five-year budget plan which outlines possible year-to-year tax increases.

From now to 2018 the tax increases are planned to be three per cent for each year, then in 2019 the increase will be smaller at 2.5 per cent.

The District of Kitimat also collects taxes on behalf of other authorities, such as the school and hospital tax and for the regional district. Those tax rates are not determined by the District of Kitimat.