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Letter: Appealing property assessment onerous

We will have to utilize the deferment of taxes provided by the provincial government

Appealing property assessment onerous

The BC Assessment branch likes to point out that very few people appeal their assessment. After what I just went through, I can see why. The task is onerous.

When I first put in my request for an appeal, I based it on the varying interest changes in my surrounding area that ranged from 12 per cent up to 18.6 per cent. I was granted the appeal but it had to be based on sales of properties prior to July 1, 2022. After deciphering the information on their website, I came up with properties in the Cobble Hill area that were sold, as per their instructions. Still going with a percent amount of increase, there was one that was 10 per cent less and then ranging from 1.49 per cent up to 14.4 per cent. Ours has gone up 21 per cent.

They came back with properties in Shawnigan Lake and Cowichan Bay and one from Cobble Hill. I asked what per cent increase they had and was told that did not matter. I asked if they were on community water and sewer. They did not know. We are not, so this was important to know, for comparison purposes.

I was asked a few questions regarding our house. Then it went to the person from BC Assessment. He came back with two more sales. One was from July 10, 2022 and they are on water and sewer. Another one from that same subdivision was sold in 2021. I pointed out that these were not relevant.

I lost the appeal but will have one last chance later on with a higher body. If what just occurred is an example of the way appeals are heard, there is little chance of being successful. BC assessment can go far and wide for their evidence, outside of our area, just to prove that they are right.

The ramifications of this is that we will now be paying up to 1.75 times the average. The likes of the CVRD and David Slade think we must be rich and, therefore, should pay more. Our assessment has gone up 71 per cent since 2021. Have our pensions gone up that much? No! I take offence when CVRD staff keeps recommending new functions based on per $100,000. Why should we always have to bear the brunt of these tax increases when everyone should share the load evenly, across the board? Even funding a service such as fire protection, for high and average assessed properties, should be borne equally. Not according to Slade. We are rich and should have to pay more. Were a means test used, we would be in the lower range and then we could still afford to live here.

This year, for the first time, we will have to utilize the deferment of taxes provided by the provincial government. All our monies have gone into our home and we’ll just have to bite the bullet and hope that there will be some left when we do finally sell.

For those who have still not had their appeal heard, good luck. The information you provide may not help you win. Paid government workers are looking for a win and use everything they can to prove their case. Do they get a bonus every time they win? Just asking.

E Aiken

Cobble Hill