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REPORTING · 10th January 2015
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat Residents received their housing assessments in the mail this past week and, once again, the values of local housing are up.

“Most homes in the area are worth more in value compared to last year’s assessment roll,” said Geoff Radtke, Deputy Assessor with the North Region in a press release issued on the 2nd of January. “Most home owners in the Northwest Assessment Area will see changes in the 10% to 35% range.”

According to the release, Kitimat increased by 35% overall. However, residential classifications increased by 42% and commercial increased by 25%.

According to Manuel Leite, Managing Broker and Owner of Remax: “The reason Assessments went up is, in fact, that house prices went up. You have to remember that those assessments were done as of July, 2014.”

He explained that the Rio Tinto Alcan Modernization was taking place during the period where the houses for 2014 were assessed. In addition, there was speculation about the proposed LNG Plants which were proposed for Kitimat and getting ready during this period. Investors were interested and supply was not able to keep up with the demand.

However, after July, 2014 there were a number of price reductions and sellers were more open to offers. While Leite was uncertain as to why, he suggested it could have something to do with Apache pulling out of the Kitimat LNG.

“Right now, we have a very good inventory of homes for this time of the year,” said Leite. “We have 75 residential listings for sale. There are five commercial properties. I’m sure, as we move into spring, we’re going to see a few more listings coming in and then, usually, we will have a few more buyers as well.”

Leite stated what happens next will depend on what decisions are made. He told us there was a drop in sales and an increase in listings in 2014.

What does this mean for taxes? Well, the Kitimat Budget for 2015has not been publicly presented to Council yet, however, according to community treasurer, Steve Christiansen, the budget is comprised of the Flat Tax and the Mill Rate.

The flat tax collects approximately 60% of the taxes from residents. The mill rate is a variable rate which levies around 40% of the residential tax which is based on the assessed value.

Christiansen also pointed out: “We have not yet received the tax rates set by the School District, The Regional District, or the Northwest Hospital District. However their taxes are likely to go up for Kitimat because Kitimat has property values increasing above Terrace, Hazelton and Stewart increases.”

He added that they use one rate for their district meaning Kitimat will get a larger proportion for the levies.

“Property owners who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2014 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January,” said Radtke.

“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by February 2, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel,” added Radtke.
Property assessment
Comment by Ralph Bartel on 11th January 2015
Since Eurocan shut down in early 2010 my tax assessment has gone up two hundred and fifty per cent. Yes you read that correctly. For the illiterate that's 250%. I can only imagine, and hope for, how much the value will increase once one of these projects is approved by the board of directors of just one of these corporations. Everything is speculative at best and I for one will not be holding my breath. However if anything does transpire I for one will be filling my boots, pockets, wheelbarrows and whatever else that is handy and will bid a fond adieu to Kitimat. My lovely wife deserves no less.
Comment by moved away on 10th January 2015
I can just see it now when the taxes go up... all the people trying to sell their houses for way more than its worth or renting out for a months wages....What? What?? What!!! Lmao!