The total value of properties in Whistler shrunk by $700 million from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011, according to the latest assessment roll for 2012 compiled by BC Assessment. In 2010, the total value of property in the resort was pegged at $10.7 billion, while a year later the value was reduced to $10 billion — an overall decline of roughly seven per cent, although when you consider the addition of new homes to the resort the decline is actually higher. According to BC Assessment, some $69 million of the total was from new home construction.
The new assessments continue a trend that dates back to the start of the latest financial crisis. For July 1, 2009 the total assessed value of properties was $11.2 billion. The 2010 number was revised down to $10.849 billion, later adjusted to $10.7 billion following the appeals process.
"Most homes in the Resort Municipality of Whistler and in Village of Pemberton are declining in value compared to last year's assessment role," said Jason Grant, the area assessor. "Many home owners in both communities will see decreases in the zero (less than one per cent) to 15 per cent range."
The assessment roll is based on home sales around the assessment date and previous assessments, and BC Assessment does take Whistler Housing Authority values and appreciation into consideration.
The roll is used by local governments to determine the property tax bill for individual properties. The municipality determines an annual budget, then sets property tax rates that share the cost of that budget among homeowners. The value of your home, in comparison to other homes, determines your share of the total tax bill and whether your taxes go up or down, and there is an appeals process in place for property owners that feel the assessment was incorrect.
BC Assessment provided examples of Whistler home sales around July 1 that explain the 2012 assessment:
In Creekside, a single family dwelling that was assessed at $1,010,000 on July 1, 2010 was assessed at $919,000 on July 1, 2011, a drop of almost 10 per cent.
A single family dwelling in Whistler Cay Heights was assessed at $2,042,000 in 2010 then reassessed in 2011 as $1,940,000, a difference of roughly five per cent.
A single-family home in Alpine Meadows was assessed at $964,000 in 2010 and $918,000 in 2011, a difference of just under five per cent.
A two-bedroom apartment in the village was $583,000 in 2010 and $498,000 in 2011, a difference of almost 15 per cent.
A one bedroom in the village assessed at $508,000 in 2010 was $484,000 in 2011, a difference of almost five per cent.
A three-bedroom townhouse in the Benchlands valued at $1,940,000 in 2010 was $1,794,000 in 2011, a difference of 7.5 per cent.