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LETTER: Taxes won’t rise as much as property assessments

With the significant jump in property assessments recently it’s no wonder many are wondering about how this could impact their annual property taxes. It’s a common misconception that if your BC Assessment notice states your home’s property assessment has gone up 20 per cent, your property taxes will go up 20 per cent. We hope the information below will help clarify this misconception and explain how property assessments and property tax rates are related.

Municipal budgets are developed each year based on the cost of delivering services to residents and saving for the future. We go through an extensive budgeting process to determine the amount of property tax funding required to balance the budget. Tax rates (mill rates) are then calculated to collect only the property tax funding needed.

The amount of property tax owed is only influenced by property assessments by how the assessed value relates to other assessed values. For example, properties on the higher end of assessments will pay more in taxes than properties on the lower end.

Local municipalities are not in the business of making money or earning a profit, but collecting only enough property taxes to balance their budget. Preliminary information suggests that most of the South Island municipalities will see a tax increase of from 3.5 to six per cent on an average residential property.

There is more information available on the BC Assessment website to help explain this common myth or contact your local municipal tax department for more information.

Mayor Ryan Windsor, District of Central Saanich

Mayor Geoff Orr, District of North Saanich

Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith, Town of Sidney