Assessments for single-family homes rose an average 20 per cent in Terrace and Thornhill from 2018 to 2019, the second year in a row for an increase as a reflection of increased sales activity from LNG Canada’s liquefied natural gas plant now under construction in Kitimat.
That’s on top of an average 9 per cent increase from 2017 to 2018 and in marked contrast to a 1.3 per cent drop the year before as determined by the B.C. Assessment Authority.
In dollar terms, median single-family home values rose from $312,000 in 2018 to $373,000 in 2019.
Once again, the Bench area carries the highest home values with a median assessed value now of $473,000 compared to $387,000 the year before, an increase of 22.22 per cent.
Terrace Southside had the largest percentage increase at 25.58 per cent with values rising from $258,000 to $324,000.
Median single-family home values in the Horseshoe are now $349,000, up from $300,000 for a 16.33 per cent rise.
Lower Thornhill values rose 17.14 per cent at $205,000 now compared to $175,000 the year previous.
Thornhill Bench values rose 23.72 per cent from $274,000 to $339,000.
Local governments will now take these values, taken as of a “snapshot” day of July 1, 2019, to determine property tax rates for 2020.
An individual property’s new assessed value does not necessarily mean a corresponding hike in taxation. If the property’s increase is over the average jump within its property classification, taxes could go up but if the assessment is below the average, taxes could go down.
Still, the City of Terrace has signaled an increase in residential property taxes generally of just over seven per cent, citing an increase in the cost of providing services and the need to hire more employees to cope.
Utility rates are separate from property taxes and here again, the city is saying it needs to charge more to main infrastructure.
While single-family home values rose an average 20 per cent in this area, assessed values for strata title accommodation rose 38 per cent, a dollar value increase to $165,000 compared to $120,000 the year before.
Although market values are established on July 1 of each year, the physical condition of a property is assessed as of Oct. 31 each year.
Aside from residential assessment increases, the property classification of “business and other” rose 13.64 per cent, for a new value of $333,264,000 compared to $293,271,800 the year before.
But there was a 9.61 per cent drop in the “light industry” classification from a combined $12,208,400 down to $11,035,000.
If assessments in this area rose as a sign of market activity reflecting the LNG Canada project, the increase in Kitimat was more dramatic with a jump of 41 per cent, from $235,000 to $332,000.
The B.C. Assessment Authority also released a list of the top 100 residential assessments with eight properties in this area making that list.
All carry a value of more than $1 million with three located south of Terrace, three in the Bench area within Terrace and two north of Terrace.