by Peter Squire
Winnipeg Real Estate Board president Cliff King said the new round of property reassessments in Winnipeg should accurately reflect true market value.
“From the examples of different properties the (assessment) department showed us and all of the property attribute criteria that was built into their mass appraisal model,” said King, “the 2003 assessed values shown to us seemed quite reasonable and not out of line with what we have experienced in price changes within our MLS® market from 1999 to 2003.”
The last reassessment was for 2002 and it was based on 1999 market values. The new reassessment for 2006 is based on 2003 market values.
Property owners will not be subject to pay property taxes on their new assessment value until the tax bill is delivered in June 2006. On May 30, 2005, the property assessment department will issue the 2006 Assessment Roll and mail out assessment notices to owners of all property types in Winnipeg.
The general assessment is required by law to be done on all property in the city every four years.
Representatives of the WREB have just completed their participation on a working committee comprised of assessors and other real estate market experts to review preliminary estimates of value for residential property types and will do the same later in the year on commercial properties.
King, who is a residential broker, came away from these meetings quite impressed with the thoroughness of the review.
On average, the value of residential properties (four dwelling units and under) increased 23.2 per cent in the period from 1999 to 2003. The value will vary according to specific residential property and the area of the city.
The 2006 Residential Reassessment map represents the geographic or catchment areas of the city (see map on page 8). A series of public open houses that corresponds to these areas kicks off this month (see schedule of residential preview letter mailing and open house dates and locations below) and continues right through until January 2005.
For other property types such as multi-family (five dwelling units and up), their estimated market value increase is 12.65 per cent while the market value of condominiums and co-operative housing has risen 20.4 per cent.
The initial estimate for commercial properties is a more modest 10.26 per cent.
Preview programs enable all property owners to see their proposed 2006 value in advance of finalization of the assessment roll so they can address any concerns they may have with department officials.
New to this reassessment is a user ID and password that will be provided to the property owner in the preview letter so that they can access detailed information about their property on the web site. The web site address is www.winnipegassessment.com. A reassessment call centre (986-8444) is also being set up to handle telephone inquiries.
The city said approximately 191,200 preview letters will be mailed out to owners of residential properties between October 1, 2004 and January 28, 2005. Another 12,000 preview letters will go out to commercial property owners from November 1, 2004 to April 30, 2005.
The assessment department’s mission is to provide fair, open, understandable, and defensible property valuations.
(Peter Squire is the public affairs director for the WREB.)