More than 1,280 property owners throughout the Robson Valley are receiving their 2013 assessment notices this month.

The biggest change was in McBride residential properties with increases up to 20 per cent. The average home in McBride increased from $105,599 to $127,254 from the valuation date of July 2011 (2012 assessment roll) to July 2012 (2013 assessment roll).

“Most homes in Valemount and McBride are remaining stable or are worth more in value compared to last year’s assessment roll,” said Christopher Whyte, Deputy Assessor. “Most home owners in Valemount will see a nominal change with the majority of properties remaining unchanged, while home owners in McBride will see significant changes in the 10% to 20% range.”

Overall, Valemount and McBride’s Assessment Roll remains unchanged from $202 million last year to $202 million this year.

The changes reflect changing market values for many properties in addition to subdivisions, rezoning and new construction.

Last year, in 2012, assessed property values in the Robson Valley decreased between eight and 15 per cent. Valemount property values decreased overall in 2011 and 2012, but before that, for five straight years prices increased.

Property taxes are based on the value of the property, but also change depending on the mill rate set by the government. An increase or decrease in property values overall does not necessarily mean much higher or lower taxes. Property taxes can increase for three reasons:
“¢ the tax authority raises the property tax rate to raise more revenue;
“¢ Improvements increase the property’s value; or
“¢ Improvements raise the value of a property in relation to most other properties in the jurisdiction.

A property inspection may reveal previously unrecorded improvements or evidence of physical deterioration. This could lead to a change in the value of the property assessment. Changes in classification or exemption status can also affect the value of property and subsequent taxes. For more information on tax relief and deferments, contact your local municipal office.

Property owners who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2012 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact the BC Assessment office as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January.

“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 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel,” added Whyte.

The Property Assessment Review 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 Prince George – North Region assessment office is located at 1488 4th Avenue – Suite 200 in Prince George. During the month of January, office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Property owners can contact BC Assessment toll-free at 1- 866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322) or via