June 06, 2013 - 10:19 AM
KAMLOOPS — Property owners are getting to see the exact damage a 3.55 per cent tax hike has on their tax bill this week after property tax notices were mailed out late last week.
Assessed property values changed little over the previous year, with the biggest change in any neighbourhood average coming in at about a $2,800 decrease. The largest average increase is just over $2,400.
For those with an average priced house in Valleyview — the area that saw the biggest decrease in assessment value as well as the area with the highest average property value — the average tax bill will be $3,930 this year, up about $110 from 2012.
On the opposite end of the property value scale, the North Shore neighbourhood saw average property values decrease by $565 this year which has resulted in an average jump of $75 on the tax bill.
The tax increase is the largest in recent history. Mayor Peter Milobar noted during a March budget meeting the tax hike is the worst he has seen in his time on council.
“Every so often you have a year like this. It's the worst I've seen in my 10 or 11 years around the council table,” he told council. “I can live with it, I'm not happy with it by any means.”
Provincial home owner grants can be applied for to help reduce the school taxes collected through property taxes and must be applied for before the due date of July 2.
Council was originally looking at a nearly 7.5 per cent increase because of the many requested items in the budget. They were able to whittle the rate down to 3.55 per cent and because of the many projects the city needs to undertake to stay on top of infrastructure improvements council reluctantly agreed to the increase this year to help avoid costs becoming even higher in future years.
The city does accept payment in person but also offers other options for paying property taxes, including by cheque, through financial institutions (in person, online and by phone) and through a preauthorized payment plan as well as through your mortgage company.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013