Revaluation resulting in higher assessments

April 29, 2013 7:56 am
Kevin Weedmark

If you have received an assessment notice and are surprised how much your property assessment has increased, you're not alone.

Across Saskatchewan, landowners and homeowners have received assessment notices with much higher values for this year.

The higher assessments do not necessarily mean higher taxes however.
Because assessments were higher across the province, the provincial government has lowered the education mill rate, and many municipalities are likely to lower the municipal mill rate as well.
It is difficult to estimate the impact of new assessments on the taxes on individual properties.

The province applies a percentage of value to the assessment to provide a taxable assessment. For example, residential properties have a taxable assessment of 70 per cent of their total assessment, while commercial properties have a taxable assessment of 100 per cent of their total assessment.

Municipalities can then add mill rate factors. In Moosomin, for example, the 2012 mill rate factor for residential property was .8499, for agricultural property was .8606, and for commercial property was 1.5524. Mill rate factors are set by councils each year and could be changed in any year.

Municipal mill rates will be set once individual municipalities have finalized their budgets, but generally are lower in a revaluation year when assessments are higher.
The town of Fleming is holding a public meeting to give people a chance to have their questions about revaluation answered.

The meeting is set for Monday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at the Fleming Community Hall.

"A lot of people had a lot of questions, so we asked SAMA (the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency) to come in and answer any questions," Fleming mayor Phil Hamm said.

"They told me that they will be glad to come down and answer general questions, and if individuals want to talk to them one on one they can answer it at that point as well.
He said in Fleming's case there has been an effort to explain the changes to people as simply as possible.

"We put a short note in with the assessments, just to tell people about the revaluation. A lot of the assessments are double what they were-we don't want people to get that assessment and think their taxes will be double.

"We will be adjusting the mill rate, but we don't know exactly by how much. We only try to bring in enough to cover our costs."

The provincial government mandates SAMA to conduct periodic revaluations of all Saskatchewan properties every four years to coincide with the change to a new base date. The current revaluation was completed in 2013 using the 2011 base year. The next revaluation is to be done in 2017.

When a revaluation is completed, SAMA provides new values to each municipality.
Provincial legislation requires municipalities to use these values when determining taxes.
Since the 2009 Revaluation, the province of Saskatchewan has experienced unprecedented economic growth, and the result is significant increases to property assessments in the 2013 Revaluation.

The regulated property assessment valuation standard will continue to be used for the assessment of agricultural land, heavy industrial property, railway roadway, pipelines and resource production equipment (mines and oil and gas). Also, the market valuation standard will continue to be used for the assessment of residential and commercial properties. The three generally accepted appraisal techniques will continue to be used to value property within the market valuation standard-the cost approach, the sales comparison approach, and the property income approach for rental properties.