COUNTY COUNCIL – Values of properties in the Buffalo Lake area challenged by seven owners remain unchanged in a decision this month.
County of Stettler assessment review board couldn’t find any error in the methodology of the assessor and the county’s original assessment of each property remains unaltered, county chief administrative officer Tim Fox said in a news release from the county.
In the particular areas in question — Rochon Sands and Bolin subdivision — there have been several years between sales and the two most recent sales indicated a significant increase in the market value of properties in that area.
“The LARB ruling, in accordance with the Municipal Government Act, could not find any error in the methodology of the assessor and found no evidence that the property owners were treated unfairly or inequitably in relation to others within the market,” Fox said.
“The property owners maintain that the assessment of their land is too high and as a result, their taxes have increased substantially.
“Each property owner indicated they felt that the county’s assessor did not take into account appropriate comparables when assessing the properties.”
The county’s assessor explained at each hearing that assessment value of land must reflect market values as of July 1, 2011, and sales in the area are the best indication of market value.
“The assessor can only use the sales of properties between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2011,” Fox said.
Different subdivisions and different areas of the lake and the province result in different markets, and therefore can’t be used for market comparisons, he said.