Property tax assessment makes absolutely no sense

Every property taxpayer within the CVRD should be appealing their tax assessment.

Property tax assessment makes absolutely no sense

Being a property owner for over 40 years; one would think that I would understand the BC Property Assessment.

Unfortunately, I have failed to grasp any understanding of this program — especially over the past five years.

It’s common knowledge that the year 2020 was a terrible year for all sectors of the economy. However, that’s not how provincial government views 2020.

It is also common knowledge that every level of government continues to “spout” programs about affordable housing yet their taxation rates are making homes owned by hard working people and retired citizens unaffordable.

Before going any farther; let’s also put a “damper” on the provincial tax deferral program because anybody who uses that program will not be able to pass their property on to family members.

And remember the tax assessment and the locally set “mill rate” fills the local governments (CVRD) pockets with all the money that they ask for. Proof of this is displayed by the local government financial statement where every government department receives every cent they ask for. After all, when was the last time you saw a reduction in government spending or a reduction in the number of municipal employees?

Now for the BC Tax Assessment program:

First and foremost, I will use my own tax assessment for this explanation. In 2017, my tax assessment rose by 17 per cent taking my property to an assessed value of $488,000.

In 2018 my assessment rose by 25 per cent.

In 2019 my assessment rose by 11 per cent.

In 2020 my assessment rose by three per cent.

In 2021 my assessment is rising an additional 11 per cent.

That’s a rise of 67 per cent over five years. Please remember taxes are paid with “after tax” dollars.

Other than government workers wages and political salaries (CVRD directors); what else has had this same increase? Do you think retirees pension cheques have risen by that much?

The tax assessment is based on real estate sales where one lives. What happens to the average home assessment when only three of the most desirable properties are sold to homebuyers who arrive here with pockets full of money?

What makes this system so unfair is that the B.C. Government Assessment Branch makes no attempt at understanding what’s happening in a local community, or for that matter, how government policies affect the price of real estate.

Currently, the federal government is continuing to keep all interest rates low. Why is this important, especially in the real estate market? Well it’s a simple explanation — the lower the interest rates the more houses are sold which increases housing demand which drives the price of real estate even higher. What’s unfortunate with this scheme is that at some point the interest rates will have to rise and then we’ll see a real estate collapse due to foreclosures because buyers today will not be able to afford their existing mortgages with a one or two per cent increase in interest rates. Does the early 1980s ring a bell?

So because of government policy, we the people who have worked our buns off to afford a home, are now being taxed beyond belief because of government policy and the ever increasing number of government workers.

Doesn’t that make you angry? Every property taxpayer within the CVRD should be appealing their tax assessment. The system isn’t fair and it’s about time that the taxpayer told the government so, even though they already know that. Appealing your tax assessment is one way we all can send the same message.

See you there.

G. Whynacht



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