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Expect an increase — BC Assessment

BC Assessment is sending out 2019 notices to more than 144,000 properties throughout the region.

Kootenay Boundary residents should sit down before opening mail in the next few days.

That’s because Kootenay Columbia 2019 Property Assessments are expected to be delivered by Canada Post over the next few days with, of course, an increase.

Deputy Assessor Ramaish Shah said in a media release that owners of more than 144,000 properties throughout the region can expect to receive their 2019 assessment notices, which reflect market value as of July 1, 2018.

"The majority of residential home owners within the region can expect an increase compared to last year's assessment," said Shah. "The demand for housing in our resort communities has been even stronger and that is reflected in this year’s assessments.”

BC Assessment collects, monitors and analyzes property data throughout the year. Shah said in the release rates of change in residential single detached homes can expect a range of change between zero and 30 percent while residential strata units (condos) are projected between zero and 10 percent.

Commercial and light industrial are slated to see increases from five to 20 percent.

The release said overall, Kootenay Columbia’s total assessments increased from about $40.8 billion in 2018 to more than $43.6billion this year.

Cities in the West Kootenay Boundary regions will see changes from 11 to 18 percent.

“A total of about $453 million of the region’s updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties. BC Assessment’s Kootenay Columbia region covers the southeast portion of the province from Fernie to Grand Forks and from Revelstoke to Cranbrook,” the release said.

The release said BC Assessment’s website at bcassessment.ca includes more details about 2019 assessments, property information and trends such as lists of 2019’s top valued residential properties across the province. The website also provides self-service access to a free, online property assessment search service that allows anyone to search, check and compare 2019 property assessments for anywhere in the province.

As a new option, property owners can unlock additional property search features by registering for a free BC Assessment custom account to store/access favourites, create comparisons and use the new interactive map.

“Property owners can find a lot of information on our website including answers to many assessment-related questions, but those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2018 or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January,” said Shah.

“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by January 31st, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel,” adds Shah.

The Property Assessment Review Panels, independent of BC Assessment, are appointed annually by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and typically meet between February 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.

"It is important to understand that increases in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding increase in property taxes," explains Shah. "How your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes."