Smithers property owners received another shocker this year as assessments rose on average another 14 per cent over the 12-month assessment period.
Data released by BC Assessment today (Jan. 3), indicates the average value of a single-family home in the town was just shy of half a million dollars at $498,000 as of July 1, 2022. That is up from $438,000 in 2021 and gives Smithers the highest average value for a single-family home in northern B.C.
Smithers surpassed Terrace which took the crown last year, but only saw a five per cent increase for 2023 going to $461,000 on July 1, 2022 compared to $439,000 as of July 1, 2021.
The 14 per cent for smithers was roughly average for the North.
In the Northwest, Kitimat also increased by five per cent, Prince Rupert was 14 per cent, Hazelton 24 per cent, New Hazelton 19 per cent, Telkwa seven per cent and Houston 14 per cent.
Within the north, Port Clements on Haida Gwaii registered the highest value increase at 38 per cent followed by Fraser Lake at 31 per cent. Pouce Coupe in northeastern B.C. registered a drop of five per cent and was the only northern community to show a decrease.
Independent of assessment changes, Smithers town council is considering a tax increase of up to 10 per cent for 2023.
The tax increase for 2023 was originally projected at 5.5 per cent based on the 2022-2026 Five-year Financial Plan, but finance director William Wallace said budget deliberations which began in July identified the need for additional revenue for the year.
At the Dec. 8 Finance Committee staff presented council with a budget reconciliation report that summarized projected operational and project-related expenses.
“After the Committee’s consideration of the report, staff were instructed to prepare the 2023 budget with ‘a projected tax increase not to exceed 10 per cent with budget cost reductions (proposed) as necessary to align with the projected tax increase’,” Wallace said via email to The Interior News.
The 10 per cent increase will not be on top of the new assessed values as the mill rate will be adjusted accordingly.
Smithers residents should have already received their 2023 assessments in the mail. If a homeowner disagrees with the assessment they can appeal it through the assessment authority.