Property assessments down about 4-percent on islands

  • Jan. 3, 2003 7:00 p.m.

The value of real estate on the islands continued to decline last year, according to BC Assessment, which mailed out 3,100 property assessments last week to islanders.
The total value of all properties on the islands plunged to $280-million last year, its lowest level in many years, and an almost 4-percent decline from the previous year’s total value of $291-million.
Four years ago, the total value was $313-million, but it has been dropping steadily since then.
According to BC Assessment area deputy assessor Erich Streckenbach, most houses on this year’s assessment roll in Port Clements and Masset are worth about the same as they were the year before. For example, a single family home in Port Clements that was valued at $66,800 in July of 2001 sold for $68,000 in February 2002.
But former DND houses in Masset saw more movement. A half-duplex that was valued at $42,600 in July 2001 sold for $37,000 in the summer of 2002.
In Queen Charlotte, a home that was valued at $67,300 in July 2001 sold for $60,000 in the summer of 2002.
Mr. Streckenbach said the unsettled local economy, which has led to lower market demand, was to blame for the drop in assessments across the islands. In contrast, property owners in the Lower Mainland and much of the rest of BC are seeing sharply increased assessments, thanks to a hot real estate market.
Property owners who haven’t received an assessment notice by Jan. 15 should contact the local assessment office in Terrace at 250-638-1116.
Property owners who believe their assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2002, or that other information on the notice is incorrect, should also contact BC Assessment, Mr. Streckenbach said.
If you want to compare your assessment with neighbouring properties, lists of assessments by address are available in municipal halls, local libraries, the Government Agent’s office and on the BC Assessment web site at www.bcassessment.bc.ca
If, after talking to BC Assessment, property owners still have a concern about their assessment, they can request an independent review from the Property Assessment Review Panel. The deadline to request an independent review is Jan. 31.
Although the assessments are used to calculate property taxes, BC Assessment does not have any control over the tax rates, which are set by local tax jurisdictions. (Property tax notices are sent out in June.) A rising or declining assessment does not necessarily mean that property taxes will rise or fall.