BANFF – The assessment value of properties in the Town of Banff increased 10.7 per cent year over year in 2018, according to the municipality’s contracted assessor.
Frank Watson, who has been calculating the yearly property assessments for Banff for the past 15 years, presented the results to town council earlier this month.
Watson said the value for assessments are based on market values as of July 1 each year and are used for calculating property taxes the following year.
He said as of July 1, 2018 all commercial and residential property in Banff was valued at $3.1 billion, up from $2.8 billion the year before.
“Assessment changes from the prior year will affect the overall tax levy when it is due,” Watson said. “These assessments were made a year ago based on the value trends at the time.”
Breaking down the numbers, Watson said residential assessments increased for Banff by 13 per cent on average, although some neighbourhoods like Pika/Spruce saw upwards of 25 per cent increases.
“Not every property in town increased at the same rate,” he said.
The year prior saw an overall 17 per cent increase in residential assessments for the resort community. Non-residential increased by seven per cent for 2019’s purposes, whereas the year before those values were up by 12 per cent. Watson said all indicators for hotels in Banff show assessments increasing.
“Banff is unique because it won’t grow 100 years from now,” Watson said. “The land will be here, but the buildings probably won’t.”
In neighbourhoods where redevelopment occurred, he said the assessment of new residential properties has an effect on surrounding lots.
“I don’t invent any of these numbers and I can supply the sales I use to make my decisions,” Watson said. “There were no areas in town that showed values going down or staying the same.”
Three approaches are used to calculate the values each year and reflect the type of property being assessed. For apartment or condominiums, a method based on square footage, land and building values are used for residential properties and that takes into account zoning, size of lot, age and quality of the home; and finally the income approach for assessing hotels and downtown retail properties, which is based on a three-year average.