Property values are up across the region and homeowners are generally accepting what they’re seeing on their assessment notices.
According to B.C. Assessment, its appeal rate in the Regional District of Nanaimo so far in 2017 is 0.8 per cent.
Bill Dawson, deputy assessor with B.C. Assessment, made a presentation to RDN directors at their regular meeting on Tuesday, comparing figures for the various municipalities and electoral areas.
Residential assessments increased everywhere in the region, from a high of 14.5 per cent in Nanaimo to a low of 6.5 per cent on Gabriola and Mudge islands. The increase was 13.3 in Qualicum Beach, 11.7 in Nanoose Bay, 11.6 in Parksville, 10.6 in Electoral Area G, 9.2 in Area H and 7.8 in Area F.
Dawson said in Parksville there was a $45 million non-market change, which represents new additions to the housing market. That figure was $29 million last year and $31 million the year before.
“Really significant single-family dwelling development expansion in Parksville this year relative to previous years,” Dawson said.
Also a consideration in Parksville are nine strata resort hotels totalling approximately 730 units, he said. Their assessments increased to about $133 million, a 4.8 per cent increase.
“The big winner this year was Oceanside Village, which are those townhouse units right down the road from Tigh-Na-Mara. They don’t have waterfront access or view, just a really good village feel,” Dawson said, pointing to an 11 per cent assessment increase there.
RDN Area A director Alec McPherson said residents in his area raised concerns that their assessment notices referenced comparison properties 10 kilometres away.
“[If] there isn’t a lot of turnover of properties in your neighbourhood, the availability of coming up with a comparable, you have to go with what’s available and if there isn’t a perfect comparable, the algorithm comes up with the [sales] that did occur,” Dawson said.
He noted that higher assessments don’t necessarily mean higher property taxes, because as assessed values increase, local governments adjust their tax rates.
The deadline for property owners to appeal assessments passed on January 31. The Property Assessment Review Panel will finish hearing appeals March 15.
Dawson said the last time there were significant assessment increases, in 2007 and 2008, the appeal rate was below two per cent.
“Which allows B.C. Assessment to say it has a 98 per cent approval rating,” he joked.
— NEWS Staff