A file image of downtown Yellowknife and the NWT legislature. Jaahnlieb/Dreamstime
An update to the assessed value of every property in Yellowknife won’t take place this year because nobody is available to do it.
That’s according to a briefing document prepared for city councillors ahead of a meeting on Monday. The next general assessment will instead be delayed until 2024, the document advises.
A general assessment involves having an assessor re-evaluate every property in the city to ensure that those properties’ assessed values remain current and consistent.
Increases in land value usually mean increases in property tax, so the results of a general assessment can mean a shift in tax for significant numbers of residents at the same time. Having gone seven years without a general assessment from 2006 to 2013, so many residents complained about large tax hikes that year that the city committed instead to waiting at most five years between assessments.
That means 2023 is the next general assessment year in the cycle, but there’s a hitch: no assessors can be found.
“The primary assessor is unable to complete the work this year,” city staff state in their briefing note, referring to one of two companies named in a contract with the municipality.
“The city sought out services to complete the general assessment from the secondary company but due to the short notice they are unavailable because of prior commitments.”
City Hall said nobody at the NWT government – which conducts assessments in the territory’s other tax-based communities – was available to help, either.
“Therefore, the next general assessment will take place in 2024,” the note concludes.
The general assessment after that is still anticipated in 2028, as was previously the case.