Houston Trailer Park. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

Residential property assessments increase overall in Houston

But manufactured home values dip

Property values rose in both Houston and Burns Lake as of July 1, 2020, the BC Assessment Authority has determined.

Using sales market data from that July 1, 2020 date as a snapshot, the authority says a property assessment value as of that date in Houston for a single family residence was $167,250, or 10 per cent more than the $152,000 assessed value as of July 1, 2019.

The assessment authority has 787 single family residences in its system for the District of Houston.

Single family residential assessments rose even higher in Burns Lake, up 21 per cent from $148,000 as of July 1, 2019 to $180,000 on July 1, 2020.

Granisle experienced a more modest valuation increase of four per cent — $61,000 as of July 1, 2019 to $64,000 on July 1, 2020.

The above values are for ‘stick built’ single family residences and do not include values for manufactured homes.

In Houston, for example, valuations of manufactured homes dropped from 2020 to now.

There are 178 manufactured homes having an average value of $29,995 situated within a manufactured home park in Houston. That’s a drop of 3 per cent from the 2020 average value of $30,949. But half of those dwellings are valued at $17,924 or more this year which represents a drop of 17 per cent from the $21,600 value of 2020.

There were 46 manufactured homes not in a park and 49 manufactured homes on properties of more than two acres in size within the District’s boundaries. In each of those categories, values also dropped so that the average drop for all manufactured home classifications was 6.93 per cent.

That decline reduced the overall residential valuation increase within the District to 5.17 per cent.

In the rural area surrounding Houston and reaching toward Granisle, called Area G within the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, the overall residential class value increased from $96.268 million to $113.694 million, a jump of 18.1 per cent.

The assessment authority has 294 single family residential properties in its system for this rural area and 86 manufactured homes.

The average value of a single family dwelling in 2020 in Area G was $192,200, rising to $208,600 this year. The average value of a manufactured home in Area G in 2020 was $107,100, rising to $119,600 for 2021.

Property owners began receiving their individual assessments last week, information from which local governments will now take and use to set property tax rates for the coming year.

Each year the assessment authority uses July 1 as its snapshot date to determine market value for all properties and Oct. 31 as the date to determine physical condition of a property.

Significant changes in an individual property’s assessed value do not necessarily mean taxes will also increase.

The important factor is where the assessment for an individual property rests within the average change of that property’s class within the local government or taxing authority.

If the new assessment is lower than the average, taxes might decrease. If the assessment is higher, taxes might then increase.

Still, both Houston and Burns Lake local governments are planning for an overall property tax increase based on their own financial planning and needs.

In Houston, the net increase is set at 2.7 per cent, amounting to an additional $114,980 to the District’s base budget. Fees are set to increase by two per cent for water and garbage fees and two per cent for arena, parks and cemetery fees. Sewer fees and frontage tax rate are to rise by five per cent.

By percentage increases, Burns Lake’s 21 per cent assessment jump ranked first out of 34 municipal governments with the BC Assessment Authority’s northern B.C. area with Houston coming in at seventh at 10 per cent, a figure it shared with Port Clements on Haida Gwaii.

Smithers ranked second at a 15 per cent assessment hike as did Wells in the Cariboo with Telkwa coming in at at third place with a 13 per cent increase.

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