Okanagan homeowners may feel their net worth shrinking a bit next month when they open their BC Assessment notice.
Preliminary information relayed from the agency to the City of Kelowna indicates the average single-family home has dropped in value by one per cent.
The assessed value of an average commercial-class property in Kelowna has declined by two per cent.
In Penticton, a typical home has dropped two per cent in value, and the decline is just over two per cent in Vernon. Commercial-class properties in both Penticton and Vernon had declined about half of one per cent.
"In general, the assessed values are stable or down only slightly," Tracy Wall of BC Assessment said Friday.
The advance information is relayed to municipalities to help them calculate the impact of municipal tax increases planned for the coming year.
On Thursday, Kelowna city council approved a 2014 budget that calls for a municipal tax hike of 2.5 per cent. But this increase will be applied only to the owners of homes that have declined in assessed value by the typical average of one per cent.
If a person's home has dropped in assessed value by more than one per cent, the owner could wind up paying less municipal tax in 2014 than he or she did this year.
Conversely, if a home has increased in value, the owner will get a municipal increase of more than 2.5 per cent.
After assessment notices are mailed out in early January, the City of Kelowna puts a property tax estimator on its website. By entering the 2013 and 2014 assessed values for their properties, owners can get an idea of how much municipal tax they will have to pay next summer.
Here are the projected tax increases for three typical property types in Kelowna:
- For a single-family home that has dropped one per cent in value to $451,000, the owner will pay $1,731 in municipal taxes, or $42 more than this year.
- For a condominium that has declined in value by one per cent to $205,000, the owner will pay municipal taxes of $786, or $19 more than this year.
- For a commercial property with an assessment of $1.2 million, the owner will pay municipal taxes of $9,683, or $235 more than this year.
City councils in Vernon and Penticton have not yet finished with their 2014 budgets.