"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Factoring in assessed values for 2014

Our home in Eagle Ridge: The assessed value decreased this year.
If you're a homeowner, you probably received your 2014 Property Assessment Notice in the mail last week. And, if you're like many homeowners (especially the thousands of new homeowners in Coquitlam), you might be somewhat confused about the relationship between your property's assessed value and the property taxes you pay to the City every year. So, here's a basic explanation.
First, City Council decided last fall that it needed to raise revenue from residential property taxes by 2.8% in 2014 in order to cover the costs of inflation and increased services, such as the new fire hall on Burke Mountain and two new RCMP officers. This means that, if you own a typical residential property in Coquitlam, your property tax, for city purposes, will increase 2.8% this year.
Second, we must factor in the property assessment issued by the BC Assessment Authority. This year, the authority found that the average Coquitlam home decreased in value by 1.8% increase over last year. (By the way, the average single family home in Coquitlam is valued at $701,000.)
What this means is that, if your property value decreased by the average 1.8% this year, you'll be facing the above-mentioned 2.8% tax increase. But, if your property value decreased by less than that -- or increased --- you'll be paying an incrementally larger increase. If the value of your property declined even more than 1.8%, your tax increase will be less than 2.8%.
For the record, our 33-year-old home in Eagle Ridge was assessed at $624,000 this year, a decrease of $8,000 (or about 1.3%) compared to 2013.
Here's a link to a Tri-City News story about assessments in the province. Here's a link to the BC Assessment Authority website, where you can find pages that explain the process and let you know how you can appeal or complain about your assessed value; deadline for all complaints is January 31, 2014.
I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me directly at toneill@coquitlam.ca if you have any questions or comments about any of this.
Note: This blog has now been updated with new figures regarding assessed values in Coquitlam.

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