Ridge, Pitt property values climb 10 per cent

Tax assessment notices being mailed out this week in B.C.

If you’re a hard-working, single-family homeowner in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, take heart, as you became about 10 per cent richer last July.

That’s about how much the value of your house went up this year, says B.C. Assessment.

The notices of house values were mailed out this week, giving homeowners at least a sense of chalking up one financial point, as the Christmas credit card bills roll in.

In one part of Pitt Meadows, single home values have climbed from $534,000 in 2014 to $587,000 last July.

In west, central and east Maple Ridge, the average home was valued at $507,000 in 2014. By July 2015, that had jumped to $558,000 – a 10-per-cent increase.

However, those numbers don’t include the price changes for condominiums and townhouses, which didn’t increase as much.

Once the condo and townhome increases are included, Maple Ridge’s residential property class increased by about 5.5 per cent, said financial general manager Paul Gill.

While property values may increase, homeowners’ property taxes won’t necessarily jump by the same amount because cities set their own tax rate based on their financial needs and the entire property base.

Maple Ridge council, in December, gave second reading to a 3.33-per-cent increase in property taxes for its 2016 budget – so if a home went up by the average increase in residential value, the property tax increase should be around three per cent.

Homeowners, though, with homes that increased in value more than that, particularly single family homes, could see more of an increase.

Property values are pegged at their market value as of last July and could have crept up even more in the meantime as part Metro Vancouver’s red-hot housing market.

While homeowners cannot appeal the municipal taxes that are slapped on to their properties, they can appeal the property’s assessed value, which determines the amount of property taxes they pay.

However, that appeal has to be directed to B.C. Assessment and must be filed by Feb. 1. An appeal form can be found at bcassessment.ca.

Only two per cent of homeowners appeal their property’s value.

For an average Maple Ridge home, based on a house, apartment or townhouse with a $400,000 assessed value, the tax increase would mean a total bill of $2,768 for general services and utilities (sewer, water and recycling).