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Kelowna residents can estimate their city property taxes

The city is making it's annual explanation about the difference between property assessments and the actual tax residents pay.

Property owners are being reminded that a change in assessment values does not necessarily result in an equivalent percentage change in municipal taxes.

"We want to remind residents that property assessments are not their tax bill," said Keith Grayston, financial services director for the City of Kelowna. "The actual change to the 2012 property tax rate will not be determined until the city and other taxing authorities have completed their budgets in May."

Property owners in Kelowna, as well as Lake Country, Peachland, West Kelowna and the regional district,  should all have received their annual assessment notices from B.C. Assessment by now.

"Although the assessed value of residential properties in Kelowna has decreased on average by 3.2 per cent for 2012, property owners with that average change will see an estimated 0.11 per cent increase in their municipal property taxes," said Grayston.

That's because that was the size of the tax increase settled on by city council for the provisional budget following last week's budget deliberations. The budget will be finalized in May and that figure could change but Mayor Walter Gray said he does not expect much of a change if any at all.

"Property owners with assessment increases above the average will notice a proportionately higher percent increase in municipal taxes and those with a change below the average will experience a lower than average tax change."

Once the 2012 municipal budget is finalized in May, tax rates will be calculated using the revised roll assessed values provided by BC Assessment. For further details on the City of Kelowna budget, visit kelowna.ca/budget.

Meanwhile, residents can also estimate their 2012 municipal taxes using the online calculator at kelowna.ca/propertytax.

"The Property Tax Estimator provides a quick way for residents or new home buyers to estimate their 2012 tax bill," said George King, revenue manager. "Residential property owners simply enter their assessed values from 2011 and 2012 found on their assessment notice."

The city says annual reassessment process does not generate revenue for the Kelowna. The assessments distribute the share of the tax burden in an equitable fashion based on estimated current market value.

Property owners with questions or those wishing to appeal their property assessments should contact BC Assessment or visit bcassessment.ca for more information.

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