Time will tell on property tax bill

"Most of the discussion on the street is that their property assessment has gone down drastically, some going down $10,000 to $25,000."

This year so many people are talking about their BC property assessment notices for 2016. I have even read two stories in the Trail Times reminding citizens that it does not mean your property taxes are going to go down if your assessment went down.

I agree but there may be a significant tax shift between properties. Most of the discussion on the street is that their property assessment has gone down drastically, some going down $10,000 to $25,000.

If your property assessment stayed the same or has gone up you are in the minority.

I did some facts gathering and this is what I found out. This is what the preliminary residential numbers look like for 2016. Residential Class assessments in 2015 were $621,748,800 compared to $597,664,100 estimated in 2016 for a decrease of ($24,084,700). That is $24 million. It is an estimate for now because people have an opportunity to appeal their assessments. Total residential homes for 2015 were 3,486 vs. 3,487 for 2016 for a difference of one. The average single family residence was $182,679 for 2015 and is $175,060 for 2016.

I went on the BCassessment web site and put together a spreadsheet of a small section of properties in Trail. I realize 60 homes is a very small percentage of the property tax folio but of those homes the assessments decreased by $598,100. Of those 60 homes 47 went down and 13 went up. I used the 2016 and 2015 property values of homes and used the 2015 mill rates for municipal, regional and school taxes to calculate what taxes would have been for each individual home using those 2015 mill rates. I realize that there are other minor factors to consider but this is the only information I had to work with for now.

I just wanted to share my findings with the above assumptions. As an example, if your home using the 2015 mill rates increased by $25,000 you would have paid $229.15 more and if your home decreased by $25,000 you would have paid $229.15 less in 2015. Once the 2016 mill rates are finalized I am going to update the spreadsheet to include three hundred homes through the City to see what the information tells me.

In my opinion, this will create a shift of residential property taxes paid in 2016. Time will tell.

Fred Romano


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