At least one politician believes lower property values could be beneficial economically.
North Okanagan residents began receiving B.C. Assessment 2014 notices Thursday and assessments remain relatively unchanged in most communities, with the biggest drop being in Lumby.
“I hope it attracts more young families to move here,” said Mayor Kevin Acton when told the assessment of the average residence in the village has gone from $260,000 in 2013 to $256,000 in 2014.
“Our housing is still affordable and we have a huge amount of amenities out there.”
Overall, the North Okanagan’s assessment roll (which includes Salmon Arm, Sicamous and Revelstoke) decreased from $26,560,852,199 last year to $26,221,360,408 in 2014.
Acton isn’t surprised that North Okanagan property assessments have remained stable or decreased slightly.
“It’s a sign of the economy.”
In Vernon, the assessed value of the average home in Vernon has gone from $374,000 in 2013 to $373,000 in 2014, while it’s gone from $184,000 to $173,000 for a strata unit.
“I don’t read anything into the B.C. Assessment rolls,” said Bob Spiers, a Vernon councillor. “They are relatively same across the province and it doesn’t impact our tax base dramatically.”
Spiers says assessments won’t influence the city’s budget or any possible tax increase in 2014.
“We come up with what we need and what ever the tax base is, we tax accordingly,” he said.
In Armstrong, the assessment for an average home has gone from $293,000 to $291,000 while Spallumcheen has remained unchanged at $332,000 from 2013 to 2014. In Enderby, the assessment has climbed from $242,000 to $246,000.
The biggest residential increase was in Coldstream — from $480,000 in 2013 to $493,000 in 2014.
Owners of commercial and industrial properties in the North Okanagan will see changes ranging from plus 10 per cent to minus 10 per cent.
“Property owners who feel their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2013 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact B.C. Assessment as soon as possible,” said Tracy Wall, B.C. Assessment deputy assessor.
“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a notice of complaint by Jan. 31 for an independent review by a property assessment review panel.”