Assessment decrease in Vanderhoof?



Have you checked your assessment notice for 2011? Quoting the Deputy Assessor for the Northern Region, “most homes in Vanderhoof are worth less on this year’s roll than they were on the 2010 assessment roll” and further, “most homeowners in Vanderhoof will see modest decreases ranging down to about minus 4 per cent”. I don’t know where these homes are located but I do know they aren’t located in the Poplar Subdivision. Assessments in the area are up, way up.

Since 2009, the assessment on our home has increased by a whopping 45 per cent!

Within the entire Poplar Subdivision (Alder, Oak, Maple, Redekop, William, Ejner and parts of Nechako Avenue, the only properties that have decreased in value are a few undeveloped parcels of land. Some rural residential properties in the area have seen huge assessment increases over last year! If my math is correct, that does not equate to a 4 per cent decrease!

One respected real estate professional in town offered these words to me – ‘BC Assessment Authority has no idea what it’s doing’. That comment is reassuring! And, in discussing the issue with a local realtor, I learned that a prospective home buyer in Vanderhoof backed away from a purchase because of the high taxes, which of course are based on property assessments.

If you have continually faced increased property assessments year after year, call BC Assessment Authority at 1-800-757-9766 and talk to the Area Assessor. If you don’t get the answers you are looking for, appeal your assessment if you think it is too high. It costs nothing, only your time. The process is not difficult.

If assessments continue to increase, Council may have to begin to look at ways to cut municipal budgets. And, if assessments in Vanderhoof have in fact decreased, which I don’t believe judging from those that I’ve seen, then we can almost be assured that Council will be forced to consider a tax increase in order to simply maintain the status quo. If you are a homeowner whose assessment has increased like those in the Poplar Subdivision, you may want to take a deep breath when you open your property tax notice in May.

Eventually there may be no one left in Vanderhoof to pay taxes – an unlikely scenario, but it’s an interesting thought.

Marje Makow

Alder Avenue resident