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BC Assessment changes its mind on Cheakamus values

Email to resident explains it will not recommend lowering home assessments


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BC Assessment is doing an about-face on its earlier position to lower assessed values of some homes at Cheakamus Crossing due to a tax glitch.

Three days after staff at BC Assessment sent an email to homeowner Tim Koshul saying it was recommending his home value be lowered by seven per cent, along with all the units in his complex, it sent a follow up email reversing that decision.

"Since my last e-mail some new information has come to our attention with regard to strata lot sales in the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood," wrote Deborah Francis, deputy assessor on Friday. "Several of the 2011 sales that took place in your complex and others were registered at the Land Titles Office excluding the HST. BC Assessment includes HST in the analysis and valuation of new home sales in British Columbia. After further analysis of the sales BC Assessment will not be making a recommendation to reduce the 2012 assessment values on your property or those within your complex at this time."

BC Assessment would not explain its decision further when contacted by Pique.

Koshul, who appealed his assessed value the same day a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that asphalt production is a permitted use in the IP1 Zone and, as such, allowed the asphalt plant to continue its operations in the Cheakamus neighbourhood, is still planning to attend his appeal hearing on Thursday, Feb. 23 in Squamish.

"I'm confused by the flip-flop," he said of BC Assessment's change in position.

"Do the tax people make this kind of mistake on a regular basis?"

Koshul was one of 19 homeowners at Cheakamus who submitted an appeal to BC Assessment.

He was told via email initially that his home value was lowered from $304,000 to $284,000 and that BC Assessment was recommending all the units in his complex, The Rise, be lowered by seven per cent. That would, in turn lower, his property taxes.

Now, his assessed value will remain at $304,000.

Koshul is hoping to get more information and a more detailed explanation of BC Assessment's mistake and its decision at his panel hearing.

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