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Typical residential dwelling increases

Property owners receive 2011 notices

Powell River property owners will be receiving their 2011 assessment notices in the next few days. BC Assessment has sent out more than 206,000 notices in the Vancouver Island assessment region, which encompasses Powell River.

“Most homeowners in Powell River will see modest changes in the range of minus five per cent to 10 per cent from the 2010 assessment roll,” said Bill MacGougan, Vancouver Island regional assessor.

Assessments are the estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1 of the previous year. According to BC Assessment, this common valuation date ensures that all properties are assessed fairly and there is an equitable base for property taxation.

Overall, the Powell River residential assessment roll increased from $1,329,108,000 last year to $1,390,610,700 this year. A typical single family dwelling assessed at $157,950 for 2010 will likely be about $159,800 in 2011, based on local market trends for residential properties.

In general, commercial properties have changed in the range of minus 15 per cent to five per cent in Powell River. The commercial assessment roll decreased from $245,622,300 last year to $241,757,100 this year.

Changes in property assessment are reflective of movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property. When estimating a property’s market value, BC Assessment’s professional appraisers analyze current sales in the area, as well as consider other characteristics such as size, age, quality, condition, view and location.

The property assessments provide the value on which local governments base their tax bills. Municipalities generally set their tax rates in the spring, after determining their budget needs. The tax rate is determined by dividing the total amount of money local governments need by the total value of all assessments. The rate is multiplied by a property’s assessment and the resulting figure is the amount of the tax bill.

Property owners who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2010 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact the BC Assessment office indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January, said MacGougan.

BC Assessment’s website provides a listing of property assessments and sales to help property owners understand their property’s market value and provide comparable sales information. Interested readers can go to and click on the e-valueBC link. Copies of neighbourhood assessments are also available at local area offices and most municipal halls and government agent’s offices across the province.

“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our staff, they may submit a notice of complaint (appeal) by January 31 for an independent review by a property assessment review panel,” said MacGougan. The panels, independent of BC Assessment, are appointed annually by the ministry of community, sport and cultural development and meet between February 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.

The toll-free number for the regional BC Assessment office on Vancouver Island is 1.800.977.2775.