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Saskatchewan News

Property values skyrocket in Prince Albert

Reported by Thia James
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Property values in Prince Albert have increased 90 per cent on average since the last assessments were done in 2009.

Property values have gone up quite substantially in the four-year period since the previous assessments were done, said Joe Day,  director of finance with the City of Prince Albert.

Residential property values are going up between 80 and 100 per cent, he said. “So, in some cases, the property values are doubling.”

The trend, he said, is fairly typical of what’s going on province-wide, where other jurisdictions are experiencing an average increase of 90 per cent.

Overall, property values have increased 67 per cent in Saskatchewan, with the total value of property assessed now standing at $97 billion for 2013. In 2009, the total value of properties in the province stood at $58 billion.

Day attributed the difference between Prince Albert’s average increase and the provincial average to the city growing at a faster rate than other municipalities between 2006-2010. Regina and Saskatoon had already been growing rapidly prior to 2006, but after that, Prince Albert started to catch up.

The reassessment cycle is every four years and home owners will have to wait until at least May to find out how this will affect their property taxes. The city’s budget and the provincial government determine the property tax rate, with the education portion being determined by Regina. The education portion pays for K-12 education.

The reassessment process itself won’t determine property taxes.

“The assessment increase itself does not necessarily equal a tax increase,” Day said. “I know that the province was trying to get that message out as well.”

There may be some shifting, because if your property tax assessment goes up more than the average, there could be a shift of taxes and you could see an increase as a result, Day said.

“Overall, it’s council’s budget process that determines whether taxes move up or down substantially for people,” Day said.

“I would tell people not to worry too much about the re-assessment and the change in assessment values because we are going to be sending out assessment notices probably a couple weeks’ time, and hopefully it will give them a good idea at that time how their property compares to the average.”

He said the reassessment will bring the assessed value of properties closer to the market values that home owners know their houses to have.

“So we are getting these values closer to what people think their homes are worth,” Day said.

tjames@panow.com

Follow on Twitter: @thiajames