Recent History – 2000
Jan. 6, 2000
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
The total assessed value of property in Dawson Creek has increased by $13.8 million or about 2.9 per cent over last year’s total according to figures released Wednesday by the B.C. Assessment Authority.
Of that jump, area assessor Brian Hawkins said that about two-thirds is due to new construction and the rest caused by increases to the market value of property in Dawson Creek.
Exactly what that will mean for the city’s budget remains unknown because council has until May 15 to pass a final version for 2000.
But Councillor Bob Gibbs, who is in charge of the finance portfolio, said Monday that traditionally council has adjusted tax rates so that the city gains no additional revenue from increased market value. Instead, he said any gains in revenue are due to a tax base expanded by new construction.
And although Dawson Creek had a banner year for construction, totaling about $32 million in 1999, Gibbs said the effect of much of that work on tax revenues won’t be seen until next year.
“You almost have to wait for something to be built and then the following year after that is when it has the bearing on the assessment,” he said.
However, in passing a provisional budget for 2000 in November, council did anticipate an increase of $150,000 in revenue because of new construction, for a 2.55 per cent hike over total revenue for 1999.
And at that time, Dale Bumstead, who was the councillor in charge of the finance portfolio, said that the estimate was conservative and could be as high as $250,000.
Improvements to property are assessed as of Oct. 31. In the instance of the Louisiana-Pacific veneer plant, currently under construction at the corner of Highway 2 and Snake Pit Rd., Hawkins said that the value of what construction was there at the time was assessed.
“Although it’s not finished yet, we still put an amount on the roll at the stage it was complete,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pouce Coupe is experiencing a slight increase in assessment, $242,000, to $25.8 million, due mostly to market change.
And assessment for the South Peace as a whole went up by $3.7 million to about $969 million.
Even though there was about $23 million worth of new construction on pipelines and about $1.5 million of new construction in light industrial, the total assessment went up only $3.7 million.
Hawkins said that’s because of a number of other factors in the nine property classifications. For instance, a depreciation on utilities, which includes pipelines, caused that classification’s final assessment to drop by $14 million, compared to 1998.
He said the market change for residential properties in the South Peace was minimal, about two per cent.