Letters to the Editor

A phone call and appeal reduced assessment

Editor: I followed up on Dennis Townsend’s letter concerning “B.C. assessments claim finished basements” (The Times, Jan. 28).  Sure enough, our assessment had increased by $17,000 and the online information indicated a finished basement.  The fact is that our basement is completely unfinished.

We completed the online Notice of Complaint (Appeal) Form and were contacted by BC Assessment by phone the next day, with a promise to reduce the assessment by $9,000, the difference between their value of unfinished and finished basements.

Townsend goes on to insinuate that Langley Township has instructed B.C. Assessment to include all homes with basements as being finished.  If this is true, then it surely is a tax grab by the Township.

It also appears that assessments are artificially inflated. One of the B.C. Assessment mission statements is that the market value for assessment purposes is the most probable price of a property in an open market between a willing purchaser and seller.  Of 15 properties in our neighbourhood, only one property is listed as actually having been sold recently and that one is assessed $36,000 higher than the selling price.

B.C. Assessment claims to have a professional staff and an extensive data base periodically updated with information from municipalities.  So it is to the Township’s advantage to have high assessments for increased revenue without increasing the mill rate.

Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-83) is quoted as saying that “The art of taxation is plucking a live goose so as to get the most feathers with the least amount of hissing.”

Sorry folks. The deadline for assessment appeals has passed. Watch your assessments next year.

Ed Wiens,

Langley

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