Saskatoon News January 17, 2013

Saskatoon Tax Notice Reassessments Explained

Don’t panic! This is the message from the City of Saskatoon regarding the new property assessment notices that were mailed out last week. Many homeowners are stressing that their Saskatoon taxes are going to double or, in some cases, even triple based on the value of their homes going up since the last assessment in 2006.

In some areas of the city there will be an increase in property taxes in Saskatoon while in other areas taxes will be going down, according to Coun. Randy Donauer. He also states that the number of people who will be paying a lot more is fairly small.

As we all know with the Saskatoon real estate market the price of homes in Saskatoon jumped significantly from 2006 with the booming economy in Saskatchewan in 2007 so throughout the city and the province home values have increased a lot since the 2006 assessment. The city has a statistic that the average home price went up 83% from 2006 to 2011 and they base it on this average. If a property value in Saskatoon went up more than 83% compared to the 2009 assessment then taxes will go up. If the opposite is true then taxes will go down.

Apparently the areas that will be hit the hardest are Saskatoon’s west side where values jumped significantly in the past few years. Some home values doubled and some even tripled whereas newer neighbourhoods won’t see much of an increase as the value of homes in new areas was already accurate. The homeowners whose taxes will be going up were likely not paying as much as they should have been for the past few years.

The City isn’t doing the best job to explain this reassessment and the implications it may or may not have. They direct people to their website but, for anyone who has tried to use the City of Saskatoon website, it is not very user friendly and it is like a maze to try to find the correct information. I am personally excited to see what the new website will look like and operate like as right now, even for a person who is tech savvy, it is a nightmare to try to use. Instead of directing people to the website they should have likely sent along an explanation before or with the reassessments to clarify. At least the Star Phoenix is publishing a lot of information on the subject but not everyone has access to the paper or their online version.

If you don’t agree with your reassessment you have 60 days to appeal it at the City of Saskatoon so make sure to check it out carefully. As a REALTOR in Saskatoon I am definitely curious to see the changes as it is hard to explain to potential home owners why some areas have taxes that are, in some cases, almost double that of other older areas. Saskatoon taxes are a very confusing subject but important for potential homeowners to know when they are budgeting for their purchase.

One example was a family who lives in Dundonald whose previous assessment showed their home to be valued at $117,000 but the most recent assessment showed $240,000. I am sure the homeowner panicked and worried that their taxes would double but this is not the case. Their taxes will go up approximately $200/year.

Apparently areas such as Arbor Creek, Erindale, Willowgrove, Silverspring and Evergreen may be seeing a decrease, on average about 9%. I sure hope so as my taxes on my home in Willowgrove are super high! I also have lots of Saskatoon real estate clients in these areas so it would be nice if I could tell them that their taxes may be going down.

If you are thinking about putting your house for sale in Saskatoon or are looking to buy a house for sale in Saskatoon contact me, your trusted Saskatoon REALTOR (r) for information and to ensure you are represented by a professional who will look out for your best interests.

Kari Calder
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Fusion