Recent History – 2004
February 17, 2004 – By Gary Rusak, Daily News Staff
The overall property value in Dawson Creek went up 8.84 per cent in 2003, a jump that represents one of the highest in the Peace, according to Ann Clayton, deputy assessor for the Peace River Assessment Office.
“The overall roll is at $565 million,” she told city council at the regular meeting on Monday morning. “It shows that this is becoming a more vibrant community.”
The B.C. Assessment Office is an independent agency that sets property values that are then utilized by municipalities to determine property taxes. The news was very much the same across the north.
Fort St. John’s assessment value jumped 8.9 per cent and Fort Nelson’s jumped 12.6 per cent.
According to Clayton the increase in assessed value this year has led to a record number of complaints.
“The biggest increase for appeals comes from Dawson Creek,” she said. “However, very few ever reach a hearing.”
Clayton said that about one per cent of all assessments are appealed. Robert Low, a senior appraiser for the Peace River Assessment office, said that business assessments are also on the rise.
“We are going to become known as a distribution centre,” he told council. “It is good for the city – it means more new jobs.”
He went on to add that the increased assessment value would help attract other businesses to the city.
Council received the report as good news.
“I think it’s a sign of the times,” said Mayor Wayne Dahlen. “I know that it means that taxes are going to go up for some, fast food restaurants have taken a tremendous hit. But, when the assessments go up it’s a sign of the process that we are going through. The city will expand within our boundaries. If you take a look at what is happening across Northern B.C. you will see that we are right in the mix. We are not stagnating.”
The consequence for residents and businesses in the city whose properties are becoming more valuable is an increased tax bill from the municipalities.
“If residents’ taxes go up it is not necessarily because of a tax increase but because of increased property value,” said Coun. Alvin Stedel.
“It’s a mixed blessing,” agreed Clayton stating that although taxes do increase, upon resale the property would fetch more on the open market.