NEWS RELEASE · 4th January 2013
With the recent changes to the Kitimat Assessments, considered to be an average of 25%-30%, tax payers are concerned about being gouged during tax time. We have received word that several City Councillors as well as Mayor would like to let the people of Kitimat know they can expect the 2% tax increase which was proposed during the budget process on the 11th and 12th of December.
At the beginning of the Budget Process, the 2% increase would mean residential taxpayers would pay a total of $3,296,608 into the community coffers. Industrial taxpayers would make up $17,298,656.
During the budget process, Councillor Corinne Scott asked about what effect the property assessment would have on the taxes.
“We try to keep the amount of taxes we raise constant, and maybe build in a 2% increase. If the assessments go down, 20%, in this case, we would raise taxes 22% to counter act it. If the assessments go up, we drop the tax rate. So the amount of taxes is what we’re interested in,” said Municipal Treasurer Steve Christiansen.
We talked to Ron Poole who commented on the assessment. “Realistically, I think Kitimat is the only Municipality with a flat tax,” said Poole.
He expressed people were concerned with the huge jump in the assessment increases and the majority of home owners will see an increase in their assessed value.
“Most of us will fit in there who own a home but there is still a bunch who will be above 30% and there will be some that are below 25,” said Poole.
He explained in Kitimat, taxes do not go up based on the assessment. They increase taxes by a set percentage, this year, the goal is 2% more than last.
“As assessments go up, the mil rate drops. It will be adjusted so we get 2% more than we did last year, over all,” said Poole.
So what happens if houses vary in how much they increased? Poole told us the exact average a house increased in Kitimat is 27.2%. A person who’s house went up this amount will only see a 2% increase in their taxes. Anyone above this is going to see slightly more than 2% and anyone below this number is going to see slightly less.
“I don’t think anybody is going to be extraordinarily above 27.2%. No one’s going to be at 80%,” said Poole. He has heard of people who might be at 40%. He explained there are going to be fluxuations around the community depending on the value of homes and how they have sold.
He told us there have been a lot of people buying houses to rent out of speculation that the industry in Kitimat is going to pick up. He also pointed out the areas around Terrace, Smithers and Prince Rupert did not change much, Prince Rupert seeing the largest change.
Christiansen, at the conclusion of Council’s discussion in December about the Assessments stated: “Assessments kind of muddy the waters but it shouldn’t really impact us too much.”
And Pigs can fly.....
Comment by Larry Walker on 5th January 2013
I love that final quote...."assessments kind of MUDDY THE WATER" but it shouldn't really impact us too much.
If you believe this, I got a bridge I want to sell you and it is at a real good price.