City to hold meeting today about property assessments

The Strategic Planning and Finance Committee of Fort St. John City Council countinues pre-budget meetings today with another session on property assessments.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2pm and, the committee of the whole, will hear from Scott Sitter of the Peace River office of BC Assessments, who will make a presentation about the 2009 property assessment roll freeze. As reported earlier, it was in November when Premier Campbell announced that the government would freeze property assessments at 2007 levels, to help people cope with turbulent housing prices.

Last week city residents started to receive property assessments for this year and, the notice lists a property’s market value, for both July 2008 and July 2007. The lower of the two values is being used as the official number for 2009 and, the city is inviting the public to use a new interctive on-line calculator, to determine property tax estimates. Now the key word is "estimate" since right now the MPT calculator is using 2008 tax rates established by council and, they are subject to change.

To use the calculator you can go on line to www.cityfsj.com, enter your current assessment and select "calculate". The estimated breakdown will then be displayed, along with the "Grand Total." To check your property tax class you can call the City Finance Department at 250-787-8150. However, questions regarding current assessment values should be directed to the BC Assessment Authority at 1-800-990-1160.

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