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BC Assessment pegs total property value in Kamloops at $24 billion

There are now 38,039 properties in the city
for sale

BC Assessment has recorded a 1.3 per cent increase in the number of properties in Kamloops, for a total of 38,039 properties.

On Tuesday (March 15), council received an update from BC Assessment Thompson-Okanagan acting assessor Tracy Shymko, who noted highlights from the city’s 2022 assessment roll.

Shymko said the city’s properties are valued at a total of almost $24 billion, a 25 per cent increase over the previous year’s assessment roll.

The value of single-family homes went up, on average, 26.4 per cent and residential strata values increased, on average, by 18.4 per cent, for a residential class overall total of 24.2 per cent. Light industry value went up, on average, 15.3 per cent and commercial property value rose, on average, 12.8 per cent. Shymko said sales of commercial properties were more than expected.

“Through 2021, we actually saw more sales activity on the commercial market than we would have typically expected, given the climate,” she said, noting stability. She said BC Assessment is watching vacancies, particularly second-floor office space.

The city has a fairly low assessment appeal rate, at 0.79 per cent in 2021. Shymko said BC Assessment is looking at a 0.1 per cent appeal rate in 2022, with 876 property owners appealing their assessments.

“Not a huge appeal level,” Shymko told council. In 2021, the appeal rate was 1.06 for the province.

In January, BC Assessment reported an average 27 per cent spike in assessed value for single-family homes — about quadruple that of last year (six per cent in 2021) and the year before that (seven per cent in 2020).

Assessments reflect market value as of July 1 the year prior, meaning 2022 values were determined based on last summer’s real estate market.

Generally speaking, the amount of a homeowner’s tax hike is based on where their property’s assessed value increase sits relative to the average increase in assessment, plus whatever property tax hike is coming from the City of Kamloops. Based on preliminary budget discussions, the proposed tax hike in 2022 is just shy of five per cent.

In general, if assessments increase overall, the mill (tax) rate will decrease. For example if a property assessment increase is the same or less than the city’s average assessment increase, that property owner’s taxes should not significantly increase. However, if that property assessment increase is above the average increase in Kamloops, a more substantial property tax hike could be in store.