A notice to a White Rock property owner notes a 70 per cent rise in assessment as well as potential effect on taxes.

A notice to a White Rock property owner notes a 70 per cent rise in assessment as well as potential effect on taxes.

LETTERS: Property assessments get a rise

Editor:

Re: Assessments boom as home prices drop, Jan. 6.

Editor:

Re: Assessments boom as home prices drop, Jan. 6.

I see in a recent edition that you stated some houses in South Surrey and White Rock had assessment raises of as high as 50 per cent.

Well, how about 65 per cent.

My assessment in 2016 was $863,000, which I believe was low, as lot value in 2016 for 33-foot lots was around $800,000. My assessment for 2017 rose to $1,424,000 and lot value was assessed at $1,203,000, while lot values on East Beach rose to approximately $900,000.

I know of two houses that sold on my street and in my block in 2016 for less than $900,000, and they were both quite liveable houses and not knock-downs.

It would seem that the person or persons that did the assessment for east White Rock in their wisdom determined that lot values were $1,203,000, as I noted when checking the comparables that almost every 33-foot lot in my immediate area were assessed at that number.

There isn’t a person in their right mind who would pay $1 million for a 33-foot lot on East Beach, and probably few, if any, who would pay that amount for a 33-ft lot on West Beach.

My wife and I are both retired and certainly cannot afford the tax increase that we will be getting as well as losing the home owner grant. (Editor’s note: The grant threshold rose this week to $1.6 million, after this letter was submitted).

Leo & Elaine Peloquin, White Rock

• • •

I’ve seen two articles in Peace Arch News recently talking about property assessments in South Surrey.

You need to check your facts. Twice you’ve mentioned that many assessments in our area have gone up as much as 50 per cent. Ours went up 67 per cent and our neighbours all had similar increases. Most of us are seniors that have lived here for decades.

Not only will the tax bills for people in our neighbourhood be beyond belief, but some of us – even with the threshold increased to $1.6 million – will still be losing the home owner grant for a double whammy.

Check your facts.

Marlene Randal, Surrey

Irrelevant on its own

I am getting tired of all the complaints about assessments, and how much they’ve gone up.

As some try to explain in vain, it is irrelevant – in isolation – how much an individual’s assessment has gone up. Your article has done little to help, nor has any other media outlet, nor www.bcassessments.com

Buried deep in your article, at least you note that total assessed value for Surrey has gone up 40.13 per cent, and Surrey plans a 3.9 per cent increase in taxes. Provide this information for all reader municipalities, and not buried deep where few read to.

So, rather than sensationalize the individual increase, can you please report relevant information: total assessed value increase, planned city overall tax increases and how this in conjunction with an individual’s assessment increase will determine how much of a tax increase a homeowner might see?

This might need a little digging, as the influence of residential versus commercial properties may come into effect.

For example, from BC Assessments I see generally all residential land values in White Rock have gone up 59 per cent – homeowners are all equal there – but the big commercial property across the road only went up 21 per cent. So if the same mill rate is assessed across all properties, the burden will shift towards homeowners.

But, if treated differently, it may not!

Unfortunately, even BC Assessments website does not appear to have total assessed values. And we need these, by taxing municipality, to understand the effect.

Publish this information, then we can have a useful, rational discussion!

Stuart Easterbrook, White Rock