Little control over land value

Editor:

Would you consider an increase of 31 per cent on your 2012 property assessment to be reasonable?

Editor:

Would you consider an increase of 31 per cent on your 2012 property assessment to be reasonable?

I have spoken with many other homeowners and none of them have received any increases even close to this. Sixteen to 20 per cent is high enough, but 31 per cent is BS.

This is going to translate into a tax grab par extraordinaire.

As I write this, I patiently wait for the local appraiser to return my phone call… waiting… waiting.

Although one can file a formal appeal, I have misgivings as to how efficient and effective this whole complaint process will be. So far, it’s not looking too promising. Upon reading the fine print, the burden of proof rests with the complainant, and they must provide evidence.

Just how does one dispute property values that are determined entirely by local real estate market conditions? It’s next to impossible. As I recall, we had a recession of sorts in 2008 and, with the European debt crisis in full swing, who is to say our real estate values will remain high? Can the local assessor guarantee me that?

Maybe I should be entitled to ask for some form of guarantee that my property holds its value throughout 2012. This bubble we live in – South Surrey – has blown up from the Asian markets’ interest, a fickle interest we have little or no control over, one that has risen and fallen over the years, sometimes fallen with a very hard landing, too.

I’m old enough to remember the previous crashes that began in the early 1980s.

I have read very little news coverage on these extreme increases of 31 per cent, like my own. I’d like to see a little more attention given to the greedy guts tax grab, a l’il heat, a l’il shame wouldn’t hurt either.

Patricia Tyler, Surrey