Greater Trail property assessments remain stable

Annual assessments show slight increase in Montrose and Warfield

As property assessments come trickling in over the next few days in Greater Trail, property owners can expect little change to their 2012 notices, according to the B.C. Assessment Authority.

Typical residential properties remain unchanged for Trail, Rossland and Fruitvale with slight increases found in Montrose and Warfield.

Trail’s 2012 assessment roll stayed static relative to last year at $1.1 billion overall, Rossland increased slightly to $603 million this year from $601 million, Fruitvale jumped up to $194 million from $192 million, Warfield moved to $164 million from $162 million, Montrose remained unchanged at $105 million, while Trail and Rossland’s rural areas leapt up to $716 million from $681 million.

“Given that we have a stable assessment base this year, you’re not going to see any sort of shifts in taxation,” said Dennis Hickson, manager of the B.C. Assessment office in Nelson.

“The only real change in taxation would be if a municipality or other taxing jurisdiction’s budget requirements were higher than the previous year.”

Property assessments are based on a criteria that looks at factors such as the size of land a home is situated on, and the size, condition and age of the house. Beyond pulling this record, analysts look at sales that take place in a market area, which helps determine how the market moved from one year to the next.

“We analyze all the sales that occur around that time (July-July) to see from year over year what’s happened to the market place for various types of housing stock,” said Hickson. “Economic factors indirectly impact what people are prepared to pay for a house – that can be a local economic factor or sort of macro-economic factors.”

Hickson notes the stable market has been status quo in Trail but not necessarily in its surrounding communities, which started to level off over the past couple years after a decade of escalating prices.

“That sort of mirrors what’s happened in the rest of the province as well with the exception of the Lower Mainland,” said Hickson. “That’s a very distinct and different market place.”

In fact, he says rising property values in Greater Vancouver is what led to the province recently adjusting the threshold of this year’s homeowners grant, which can now be claimed by people who own homes worth up to $1.2 million.

The government adjusts the threshold for the homeowner grant each year after a review of property values by the B.C. Assessment Authority, which states its latest assessments found property values jumped by as much as 30 per cent in West Vancouver and Richmond, 25 per cent in Vancouver and 10 to 15 per cent in Surrey and Delta.

Greater Trail property owners, who feel their notice doesn’t reflect the market value as of July 1, 2011 or see incorrect information on their notices, should contact the Nelson office at 250-352-5581 as soon as possible.

They are also encouraged to check out www.bcassessment.bc.ca, where they can compare property assessments with neighbouring properties, access sale information and take advantage of an interactive map that looks at and compares municipalities across the province.

With files from CP