Of note, Spatharkis told Council that Fort St. John had one of the largest roll total changes in the past year up 10.3 per cent, which is three per cent higher than the Peace River assessment area in total.
In particular the residential property class increased by about 12 per cent with eight per cent attributed to market movement, and the other four per cent being due to new value to the assessment roll.
The total taxable value for the City of Fort St. John increased as well, up almost 11.5 percent. Eight per cent is attributed to market change and the rest to new value to the assessment roll.
Spatharkis explains new value in the assessment roll as, “changes to assessed to taxable value related to things such as boundary extensions, property tax class changes, exemption status changes, and construction and zoning changes. It’s an important figure for the city because it represents an ability to increase the amount of property tax generated from the tax base without having to increase the property tax rate.”
It was brought to City Council’s attention that the averaged assessed value for a single family dwelling in Fort St. John over the past ten years has skyrocketed 113 per cent. In terms of actual dollars that translates to $163,200 in 2005 on average, versus $347,700 on average presently. Spatharkis was asked by City Councillor Gord Klassen what advice he would have for property owners who may be alarmed by assessments they may receive. Spatharkis noted that there are online tools for citizens to see how their property compares to other similar properties, or people can always call
“If they have access to the internet I’d highlight the e-value B.C. compare assessments tool. That will allow them to look up their property in comparison to other properties that have similar characteristics,” he explains. “If they’re not able to do that or don’t feel comfortable using the tool or have questions after using the tool we welcome them to call our office and an appraiser would be more than willing to talk to them about their assessment and provide them any additional information they may need prior to forming an opinion on whether they think it’s a reasonable assessment or not.”
The compare assessments tool can be found by clicking here.