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Assessments keep rising

In the mail: Notices to arrive shortly. on a roll as their times continue to drop.

More than 7,700 property owners in the Salmon Arm region can expect to receive their 2007 assessment notice in the coming days. An additional 16,000 notices were mailed to rural property owners in the regional district.

Assessments are the estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2006. This common valuation date ensures that all properties are assessed fairly and there is an equitable base for property taxation.

The real estate market creates property value, which is reported annually by BC Assessment. Local governments and other taxing authorities are responsible for property taxation, and after determining their own budget needs this spring, will determine their property tax rates based on BC Assessment’s data.

“Most homes on this year’s assessment roll are worth more than they were on the 2006 assessment roll, and market movement appears strong when compared to previous years,” said Okanagan Region Assessor Jim Inverarity. Waterfront properties continue to show market increases greater than those experienced by typical single family homes. Commercial properties which had been relatively stable in previous years also experienced strong market movement this past year.

Changes in property assessments are reflective of movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property. When estimating a property’s market value, a professional appraiser analyzes current sales in the area, as well as considering other characteristics such as size, age, quality, condition, view and location.

Overall, Salmon Arm’s assessment roll increased from $1.73 billion last year to $2.22 billion this year. The assessment roll for the Salmon Arm rural area increased from $3.38 billion to $4.77 billion this year. This kind of growth reflects changing market values for many properties but also includes subdivisions, rezoning and new construction.

The examples below demonstrate local market trends for properties by a geographic area; trends are affected by many variables.

Assessment for the 16th Avenue SE area, Salmon Arm – single family in July 2005 was $228,700, July 2006 is $287,100; Shuswap Lake Estates – single family in July 2005 was $230,800, July 2006 is $293,600.

“Property owners who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2006, or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact the BC Assessment office indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January,” said Inverarity. “If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our staff, they may submit a written request by Jan. 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel.”

The panels are independent of BC Assessment.

tween February 1, and March 15 to hear formal complaints.

Assessments and Sales by Address is available for residential property owners to further assist property owners in understanding their property’s market value and to provide comparable sales information. This service is available on BC Assessment’s web site at from January 2 to March 15. Paper copies of Assessments by Address are also available at local area offices and most municipal halls, libraries and government agent’s offices across the province.

The Vernon Assessment Office is located at 2820 28th Street, Vernon, B.C. During the month of January, office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

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