Residents keep assessment authority honest

In 2010 the West Kelowna Residents’ Association formed a committee to look at West Kelowna property assessments.

To the editor:

In 2010 the West Kelowna Residents’ Association formed a committee to look at West Kelowna property assessments.  Initial analysis indicated that the assessments at the neighbourhood level had significant anomalies; namely some assessments seemed neither fair nor consistent. Similar anomalies were also found to exist in the 2011 assessments. The objective throughout our review was to encourage BC Assessment Authority (BCA) to take corrective actions as deemed appropriate in the pursuit of fairness and consistency for future releases and hopefully by 2012.

The association submitted analytical information on neighbourhoods, specific cases and lakefront properties to our MLA Ben Stewart who arranged with the Kelowna office of BCA to analyze the findings.  He then coordinated two review meetings hosted by the Kelowna office of BCA in June and October, 2011. Further, Mr. Stewart invited West Kelowna’s chief financial officer to be included at these meetings as property taxes are based on assessed values.

At the June meeting BCA officials presented a comprehensive report. They demonstrated that the results in question were within the mass appraisal statistical measures of quality they use, a standard more demanding than accepted international requirements. This position recognizes the operating system in use, resources and a fluctuating market. BCA identifies three key measures that apply to this industry including:

• Assessment to Sales Ratio (ASR)

• Coefficient of Dispersion (COD)

• Price Related Differential (PRD)

Three conclusions from the BCA report were:

1) BCA focused on the change between 2010 and 2011 roll value shifts;

2) Outliers (our anomalies) identified and value shift rational noted; and

3) Majority of outliers (71 per cent) fall within +/- 2.5 per cent of median.

At the October meeting BCA demonstrated once more that the quality of the mass appraisals met standards. We had calculated that if the lakefront land component is assessed on area (lot size) there was a discrepancy up to a multiplier of more than two.  This was clarified. BCA determines lakefront property assessment based on its lake-shore frontage, not area, and on that basis the results were indeed consistent.

We learned that the assessed values of older lakefront buildings (improvements) are significantly reduced not only in West Kelowna but throughout BC.  Effectively the middle class ratepayers are subsidizing the multimillionaire lakefront owners. Go figure.

We suggest that the majority of B.C. property buyers buy a “house” and by that standard might expect the same assessment rules to apply to lakefront “houses.” Be fair and consistent.

2012 Activity

BCA indicated that we had 29 per cent outliers in our June 2011 submission (almost one-in-three). Our conclusion is that it is incumbent upon each individual property owner to note the assessed value of their property, collect information at the neighbourhood level, and if dissatisfied with the measure of fairness and consistency, appeal his/her assessment. Here are three ways for property owners to gather assessment information:

The West Kelowna website now has detailed information on assessed values (5 years), property lines and satellite photographs of the property. Start from the home page (HYPERLINK “http://districtofwestkelowna.ca/”http://districtofwestkelowna.ca) and click on “Map” (top right hand corner);

BCA will publish assessment values by neighbourhood early in January 2012; and

The West Kelowna Residents’ Association is providing a hands-on workshop on Wednesday evening, Feb. 15 from 7 to 8 p.m. The location is our Westbank Library coordinated through the Friends of the Library.

Overall, the association is satisfied with the responses from MLA Ben Stewart and BCA staff.  The intent is to monitor the 2012 assessment for anomalies and keep our membership informed.

S. Carl Zanon,

 

assessment

committee,

 

 

West Kelowna

Residents’ Association,

 

 

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: the warm sun is sticking around

Environement Canada forcasts sun, no clouds for Wednesday

TKI Construction looks forward to being part of Rutland

The company is renovating the old AG Outdoor Superstore

Rockets’ tiebreaker for playoff berth a franchise first

The Rockets travel to Kamloops for a do-or-die match against the Blazers

‘Our sales are hurting’ Kelowna music hub takes hit after big competition moves in

Milkcrate Records still taking a hit after Sunrise Records moved into town 2 years ago

Construction set to begin on new roundabout in Lake Country

Construction is scheduled from April until July

The UBC Innovation Library has helped over 1,100 students since opening in 2015

Students across B.C. can access their academic resources at the UBC Innovation Library

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read