West Kelowna politicians meet with BC Assessment over double-billing

Problem came to light when BC Assessment was conducting a review of residential folios associated with leased water lots in the Okanagan

Some West Kelowna councillors met with BC Assessment look into the potential that property owners being double-billed for certain services.

Members of West Kelowna Council met with BC Assessment today at the Union of BC Municipalities convention, to seek a solution to a new concern that some property owners are potentially being double-billed for certain services.

West Kelowna Council is attending the UBCM convention in Victoria this week and are provided with short face-to-face meetings with provincial government representatives. On Tuesday, September 27, Council members met with BC Assessment representatives.

West Kelowna arranged this meeting with BC Assessment to raise a concern that came to light when BC Assessment was conducting a review of residential folios associated with leased water lots in the Okanagan.

According to West Kelowna officials, these leased lots were legally obtained for the construction of docks or other waterfront features. BC Assessment created 1,779 new folios associated with the water lots. This move did not impact the assessment of the property, but did mean that West Kelowna, as the taxing authority for property and parcel taxes, cannot remove these new folios when applying taxes.

“Some of these owners with leased water lot folios are being charged twice for solid waste management or parcel taxes and, in some cases, local service area improvements and we don’t think that is fair,” says Councillor Rick de Jong. “We certainly don’t think that BC Assessment intended for this to occur and we asked for a correction.”

West Kelowna Councillors, including Carol Zanon and Duane Ophus, who attended the meeting said they felt that BC Assessment was very receptive to what they were saying and anticipate a review of this change to occur, or if BC Assessment is unable to address the problem, a referral to the appropriate governing authority which West Kelowna can then lobby.