Rupert property assessments jump 13% overall, some fall

BC Assessment on property in Prince Rupert shows a 13 per cent increase despite some residents seeing a drop in their property assessment

The average property assessment for a single-family home in Prince Rupert has jumped 13 per cent over the last year.

However, the increase is not across the board and many have found their property assessment, which is used as a basis for municipal property taxes, has dropped.

The biggest factor for the rise or fall is the real estate market. BC Assessment uses the sales data to determine the numbers.

“What’s occurring in Prince Rupert is property owners and buyers and sellers are purchasing properties for more than they were in the previous year, and that’s been shown in the amount of sales we’ve analyzed over the last year and that’s why the number has gone up the way it has,” David Keough, Northern Region deputy assessor, said.

An average assessment for a single family dwelling in Prince Rupert from 2010 until 2016. Data provided by BC Assessment. View

An average assessment for a single family dwelling in Prince Rupert from 2010 until 2016. Data provided by BC Assessment.

Gordon Kobza a realtor from Realty Executives Prince Rupert, who has been in the business for more than 26 years, said it all comes down to the law of supply and demand.

In Prince Rupert, for instance, there is speculation of what might happen and also what is already happening.

“The port expansion is something that is happening. The possibility of LNG is something that might happen. That drives demand then sellers can ask for and receive more money,” Kobza said.

Certain sections of the city that have significantly increased in value include Graham Avenue and Atlin Avenue, Silversides Drive and Conrad Street, and any property with a view. Kobza also said that a lot of mid-value homes have gone up dramatically in value.

Another reason someone might see a rise in value this year is if they took out a permit for renovations on their property.

A change in assessments from 2015 (as of July, 2014) to 2016 (as of July 1, 2015). Data provided by BC Assessment. View

A change in property assessments from 2015 (as of July, 2014) to 2016 (as of July 1, 2015). Data provided by BC Assessment.

There are some grumbles around town of people worried about an increase in property taxes but Keough of BC Assessment said that an increase in your assessment doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in property taxes. The assessment is “about providing taxing authorities with accurate and independent information for the fair distribution of taxes that go toward funding local important services,” he said.

The impact the assessments will have on property taxes will not be known until the spring when the city determines the budget and tax rates.

If you think that your property assessment is too high, Keith Lambourne, a realtor at Royal LePage, said that it can be appealed through the property assessment appeal board.

“You need to provide something comparable in the market. You need to have an actual written case as to why (you want an appeal). You can’t just turn up and say it’s not fair,” Lambourne said.

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