Assessment the highest increase in ten years

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, April 18 2017

Gabriola’s overall assessment went up for 2017, with 80 per cent of the residential properties increasing, some up to 20 per cent, a ten year high for the island.

Bill Dawson with the BC Assessors’ office spoke to the Sounder on the changes for Gabriola.

“The overall median change in residential assessment roll is around 8 per cent this year. That’s due to the marketplace.

“The last time we saw increases anywhere near 8 per cent was in 2008, when we saw the residential roll increase about 10 per cent.”

2013 thru 2015 saw the market decrease, and last year there was a stabilization, but this year saw a large jump. Dawson stressed the assessment is based on what the market looked like as of July 1, 2016. Further strengthening of the market since then will impact the 2018 assessment numbers.

“We don’t set the market, we report what has happened every year as of July 1st. When property owners open their estimates in January, those estimates are six months in the past.”

Gabriola, and the rest of the mid-island, had lower increases than southern Vancouver Island, with Nanaimo residential roll increasing about 14 per cent compared to 20 to 25 per cent for Saanich and Victoria.

Within the Regional District of Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum were up 10 to 14 per cent. Electoral Areas A and C, which share the southern part of the RDN with Gabriola (as Area B) went up between 8 and 10 per cent.

Dawson also reminded islanders that if a home’s assessment went up at the average rate, and the local government is not raising taxes, then that homes taxes should stay the same as the previous year.

Homes with higher than average assessments will see an increase in taxes; homes with lower than average may see a decrease.

“That is how it should work.”