Homeowners in the Capital Region may not see any big changes to their house values when they receive one of 144,000 property assessment notices in the mail this week, but the BC Assessment webpage has undergone a facelift for 2012.
“We’re encouraging people to look at their assessment notice, make sure the information on the notice is correct to satisfy themselves, and to ensure that it’s at market value with other properties in their neighbourhood,” said Reuben Danakody, area assessor.
Unlike in years past, BCAssessment.ca’s online assessment tool is available for anyone to use throughout the entire year. Previously, homeowners received a personal identification number in the mail and had until March 15 to log on to e-valueBC, a database of all property values in B.C., with the code to view property values. This year, no personal identification number is required and there are no restrictions on who can use the tool.
Also new from last year, the sale by address feature was limited to one search of up to eight sales. This year, users may submit unlimited queries, with eight results delivered at a time – a parameter set only to limit the strain on the webpage.
“(Property owners should) go to e-valueBC, check the information out, see what comparable assessments are in the area and look at what sales have occurred to see if they’re satisfied with the assessment,” Danakody said. “If they’re not, I encourage people to contact us and get more information and maybe more explanation of what the market was doing in their area. Last, but not least, if they’re still not satisfied, then file the appeal.”
Property owners may file for an appeal of their assessment by Jan. 31. Any revisions made to assessments by an independent review panel will be reflected at BCAssessment.ca after March 15.
“The goal is to give people enough information to determine whether or not their assessments are accurate,” he added. “A lot of people use that information to make purchasing decisions. It’s a great tool and it’s free.”
BC Assessment, funded through property taxations, manages e-valueBC.
The agency’s head office, which doubles as the Capital Region office, is located in Saanich at 3350 Douglas St. and employs 40 staff members, including appraisers and support staff.
By the Numbers
Visitors to BCAssessment.ca
• January, 2010: 180,700
• January, 2011: 340,500
• Jan. 1 to Jan. 3, 2012: 69,303
Property values hit $91.6 billion total
Saanich property values dip slightly in the south and rise in the north
• Property values have stayed stable, hovering between negative two and plus five per cent change across Greater Victoria, which experienced an overall increase from $91.6 billion last year to $92.9 billion this year on the assessment roll.
• The values of Saanich single-family residential properties within the Greater Victoria School District fell slightly over the year, with a standard $598,000 home in 2011 assessed at $595,000 in 2012.
• Values in the Saanich School District rose somewhat, with the value of an average $714,000 home in 2011 inching up to $720,000 in 2012.