District of Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne

Slight tax increase anticipated

District of Sooke will have to raise property taxes

More than 144,000 property owners throughout the Capital Region can expect to receive their 2013 assessment notices in the next few days.

“The majority of residential homeowners will observe a modest assessment change compared to last year’s assessment roll,” said Reuben Danakody, Assessor.  “A significant number of properties in the region are actually decreasing in value. Most home owners in the Capital Region will see changes in the -2 per cent to -6 per cent range.  This reflects market change from July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2012.  Since our valuation date of July 1, 2012, the overall property market shows signs of further decline in sales volume while prices have generally been stable”.

In Sooke the local market trend shows assessments lower in 2013 compared to 2012. An average assessment as of July 1, 2011 for 2012 was $350,000 with a assessment of $324,000 for 2013. Sooke has the lowest assessments in the Capital Regional District with the exception of rural Victoria property. Commercial and industrial property assessment will rise between 2 and 8 per cent in 2013.

Sooke Maytor Wendeal Milne said that with the decrease in many assessments, the district will still need certain revenue. He said they are “shooting for a 2 per cent tax increase in 2013.”

Milne said the mil rate will be adjusted to cover any shortfalls from the lower property tax assessments. There are still capital projects which need tax dollars and just because property values go down it doesn’t mean they can reduce budgetary expenses.

“It’s a game we have to play,” he said. “It’s looking pretty good the way it is now.”

Property owners who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2012 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact our office as indicated on their assessment notice as soon as possible in January,” said Danakody.

“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by Jan. 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel,” added Danakody.

The Property Assessment Review Panels, independent of BC Assessment, are appointed annually by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and meet between February 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.

The Capital Assessment office is located at Suite #102-3350 Douglas Street in Victoria. Property owners can contact BC Assessment toll-free at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322) or via www.bcassessment.ca.

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