Assessment Information for the Property Owner
Assessors value property for taxation purposes. They do this by determining the fair value of land and by considering the depreciated, replacement cost of any buildings or structures on the land.
Assessors determine the assessed value of your property by adding the market value of the land to the depreciated replacement cost of the buildings. In the Yukon, approximately 22,000 properties and the buildings or structures on them have to be assessed. These include houses, apartments, shopping centers, mines, motels, hotels, stores, farms and pipelines.
Why is Property Assessed?
Property taxes are calculated on the assessed value of property. Property assessment provides the basis for determining each person’s fair share of taxes in proportion to the amount his or her individual property is worth.
How is Property Assessed?
Assessors generally use the market value of land to help determine the assessed land value of a property. If private sales of similar properties cannot be located, assessors may have to use development cost to help determine assessed values. Land information can include recent sales, location, permitted land use and other market related factors. When assessors determine the value of the property, they include the land at its market value, plus the buildings and other structures at their depreciated replacement cost. Once the assessors calculate the fair value of the land, they then calculate the value of the buildings on the land.
Improvements refer to buildings and permanent structures on the land. The most common way to determine these values is to consider how much money it would take at the current material and labor costs to replace your building with one like it. If the building is not new, consideration must also be given to how much it has depreciated. To be able to determine the value of any piece of property, it is necessary for the assessor to know what it might cost today to replace it, the selling price of similar properties and many other facts. Building information can include building size, features, type of construction, materials used, age, condition and quality of construction. Also considered are factors such as flooring, plumbing fixtures, furnaces, and finished basement rooms.
What is a Reassessment?
In accordance with the legislation and mandate, the Property Assessment & Taxation Branch is responsible for keeping values current, accurate and equitable for property tax purposes. A reassessment is an updating and review of property inventory and the value of buildings and land in each respective taxation area for property tax purposes.
Land and improvement values are reviewed and reassessed every 2nd year. The market value of land is reviewed and any changes in value noted from market evidence may lead to a change in your land value. The cost to build is also reviewed and any changes noted in building costs from the time of the last reassessment may necessitate a change in your improvement (building assessment). This is why in some instances; although, you may not have done anything to improve or change your property, you may still realize a change in assessed value.
Assessed Value and Taxes
Assessors do not collect taxes or determine the amount of taxes to be collected. This is left up to the Municipality in which you live. Assessors do determine the fair value of a property so that taxes can be calculated.
Assessment & Tax Calculation Example
Property tax is based on the assessed value of the property. Here is an example, based on a sample property assessed at $130,000 with a tax rate of 1.39 per cent:
tax rate .0139 (1.39%)
130,000 x .0139 = $1807
A property assessed at $130,000 would be subject to $1807 in property taxes.
Home Owners Grant
If the property being taxed is your permanent residence and you lived there as of January 1st or for not less than 184 days in the taxation year, you can apply to the Yukon Government for a Home Owners Grant. You must apply before February 15th of the year following the year taxes are levied. The grant is equal to 50 per cent of your taxes up to a maximum of $450.00 (75 per cent if you are over 65 years of age and up to a maximum of $500.00). The Home Owners Grant is calculated on the general taxation levy. Local improvement taxes are excluded from the calculation.
If you disagree with the value of your property on your mid December assessment notice you are welcome to discuss the matter with us. We will review all pertinent facts and will answer any questions you have about your reassessment.
If, after talking with us, you still find a significant difference between the assessment and what you feel is the assessed value of your property, you may file a complaint within 30 days from date of mailing of your assessment notice (usually around mid January). The bottom portion of your assessment notice provides space for your complaint and can be delivered by mail, fax, or in person. Your complaint then goes to the Assessment Review Board.
The Assessment Review Board’s function is to hear evidence as to whether or not properties have been assessed too high or too low, whether they have been wrongly classified or whether the exemptions are incorrect. The Assessment Review Board has the authority to change the assessed value but has no authority over tax rates.
We hope this has given you a better idea of the work we do in Property Assessment and how it relates to property taxes.
If you would like further information please call us at 867-667-5268 or toll free within the Yukon at 1-800-661-0408, local 5268. You can reach us by fax at 667-8276 or email: email@example.com. Our office is located at 308 Steele St., 1st floor in Whitehorse.