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Assessment notices have gone out

Property owners in the East Kooteay have recently received their 2011 assessment notice. Assessments are the estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2010. This common valuation date ensures there is an equitable property assessment base for property taxation.

Real estate sales determine a property’s value which is reported annually by BC Assessment on assessment notices. Local governments and other taxing authorities are responsible for property taxation and, after determining their own budget needs this spring, will decide their property tax rates based on the assessment roll for their jurisdiction.

“Most homes in the Golden area are worth about the same on this year’s assessment roll as they were on the 2010 assessment roll,” Bradley Lane, Kootenay Region Area Assessor gives a local example. “Home owners in the Town of Golden will see little change in their property assessment. For example, a typical single family home in Golden that was previously assessed at $303,000 was valued at $302,000 in the summer of 2010.”

Changes in property assessments reflect 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 considering other characteristics such as size, age, quality, condition, view and location.

“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 Lane.

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. Go to www.bcassessment.ca 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 appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by January 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel,” said Lane. 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 East Kootenay assessment office is located at Suite 200, 117 Cranbrook Street North in Cranbrook. During the month of January, office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

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