A number of property owners in the Flats area of Clearwater were relieved when they received their notices from BC Assessment recently, according to town councillor Dennis Greffard.
Speaking during a town council meeting held Jan. 6, Greffard said several residents had approached him after receiving letters from BC Assessment in late 2014 that advised them the assessed value of their land for 2015 taxation purposes would be almost twice what it had been the year before.
Greffard said he had checked with the provincial authority and been told that there had been an error in calculating the assessments and the letter had been sent out in mistake.
The error happened because one of their assessors mistakenly entered the wrong figure into his computer while making his valuations for part of Clearwater, according to Graham Held, deputy assessor for the Thompson-Cariboo region.
“The moral of the story is always look at your assessment. The number is important,” Held said
BC Assessment automatically sends letters to property owners if their assessments have increased more than 15 per cent above the market change, explained Held.
The error was discovered, but not before the letters had gone out.
Purpose of the letters is precisely that – to help catch errors. The letters also serve to advise people to check their assessment notices when they receive them to see if they want to appeal.
Assessment notices went out during the first week of January.
The assessed values of property in the Kamloops region were generally stable, with changes ranging from -5 per cent to +10 per cent.
In Clearwater, the assessed value of residential properties went down by about a half of one per cent, while the total of business and other assessments went up by almost three per cent.
The overall assessment roll for Clearwater went up from $334 million last year to $341 million this year.
In Barriere, residential assessments went up by nearly two per cent, while the assessments for business and others went down by a little over one per cent.
Barriere’s overall assessment roll went up from $193 million last year to $199 million this year.
Property owners have until Feb. 2 to file a Notice of Complaint (appeal) if they disagree with their assessments.
Property Assessment Review panels will sit during February and the first half of March to hear complaints.
After the panels have finished, revised assessment rolls will be produced.
Municipal and other levels of government (such as school districts) that are funded with the help of property taxes will then use the numbers from the assessment rolls plus their budgets produced earlier to set property tax rates for their respective jurisdictions.