The average value of homes in Banff has increased five per cent this past year, signaling what appears to be a turnaround in the national park townsite’s residential real estate market.
On the other hand, average assessments on commercial properties were down about 20 per cent.
Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen said, as a homeowner, the increase in residential assessments is good news from an economic perspective.
“I believe it does indicate a recovery in the economy. I believe it’s better than seeing both residential and commercial go down like we did last year,” she said.
“It doesn’t surprise me that it may take a little bit longer for that sector to start recovering.”
The total tax assessment for commercial property in the Town of Banff for 2011 is around $636 million. For residential, it’s about $1.2 billion.
The average residential values increased by five per cent for 2011, while the average values of commercial properties decreased by close to 20 per cent.
By comparison in 2010, residential property values saw an average decrease of seven per cent, while the average decrease in commercial property values was 27 per cent.
Property owners will get their assessments in the mail next week, but officials say the change in averages doesn’t mean residents will pay five percent more in tax, or businesses will pay 20 percent less.
Generally, if your property value increases more than the average, the tax increase may be greater than the average. If your property value decreases, or the increase is less than average, your tax increase may be less than the average.
Council plans to set the tax rate at its meeting on April 26, based on what tax revenues are required to meet the 2011 budget. They also have to wait on the provincial school tax requisition.
“We don’t really know what individual taxes will actually be at this point,” said Mayor Sorensen.
The municipality’s 2011 financial plan, approved by council last November, states the commercial to residential tax split will be between 4:1 and 5:1.
“Clearly, there will be discussion as to what is the best tax split this year,” said Mayor Sorensen.
Residential properties are assessed based on market values – what a home is worth on the open market on July 1 of the previous year. As for commercial properties, they are assessed based on potential income, with management fees, structural maintenance, vacancy allowances and capitalization factored in.
Assessments can be appealed within 60 days.