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Shuswap: BC Assessment notices prompt CSRD explanation of correlation with property taxes

Property assessments based on values as of July 1, 2022
View from Bastion Mountain shows Salmon Arm and area. (File photo)

With assessed home values having shot up in B.C., the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is addressing concerns with how that might impact residential property taxes.

By now, most B.C. property owners should have received a notice from BC Assessment, stating what their property/residence was valued at as of July 1, 2022.

On average, property values in the North Okanagan-Shuswap municipalities jumped since July 1, 2021, from as little as nine per cent in Sicamous, to as much as 17 per cent in Salmon Arm.

When these notices are received in the mail, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) frequently hears from people wanting to know how the latest assessed value will affect property taxes.

“It is a common misconception that a significant change in your assessed value will result in proportionately the same change in your property taxes,” explained the CSRD in a Jan. 17 media release.

“A 40% increase in property assessment does not automatically equal a 40% increase in your property tax. No local government will increase taxes by 40% in one year. In fact, most local governments determine the amount of taxes required in advance of the assessment data.”

Read more: Most Shuswap properties see continued assessment hike in 2023

Read more: B.C. property assessments higher, but market has changed: assessor

The CSRD explained the most important factor isn’t how much your assessed value has changed, but how much local government needs in tax revenue. Also important is how your assessed value has changed relative to the average change for similar properties in your municipality or local government’s jurisdiction. As an example, if a local government were to increase taxes by five per cent, the CSRD explained if the change in your property’s assessed value is lower than the average change for your property class, your taxes will be less than 5 per cent higher than the previous year. If similar or higher to the average change for your property class, your taxes will likely be five per cent higher or greater than the previous year.

To better understand the relationship between assessed property value and property taxes, the CSRD suggests visiting the BC Assessment website.

Prior to sending out its latest notices, BC Assessment issued a statement noting conditions have changed since the July 1, 2022 assessment date: interest rates are climbing and property sales are in decline.

“Since July 1, we know that the real estate market has changed as interest rates continue to rise and overall sales volume has declined,” assessor Bryan Murao says in the statement.

“As a result, your next property assessment will likely be higher than what the current market value might be, but that will be the same for everyone,” assessor Bryan Murao commented in the statement.

The CSRD is still working on its 2023 budget, with the first meeting taking place on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 9:30 a.m. The public can follow the meeting live online at:
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