Blog by Betsy Carstairs

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Indian Arm, North Vancouver, appealing property assessments

I attended a hearing this week with a Indian Arm owner who was challenging her property assessment. It was interesting to see how values are estblished as each of the properties up The Indian are so different from one another. Not a easy task. There are lease hold properties, free hold properties & properties that have 200' frontage all the way down to 50' frontages. Views vary dramatically as well as the services offered. What was of interest to me was how much value Linnet  McKay from BC Assessment division placed on the property's frontage. In my mind it matters not the quantity but the quality of the water frontage. If you have a 200' frontage on a cliff that makes it difficult to get to the beach as opposed to a 50' frontage that has a sandy beach & good interaction @ the water's edge then in my mnd the 50' frontage would be worth as much or more than the 200' cliff property. Just cold hard numbers, in my opinion, do not always reflect value.
I have not heard what the result of the appeal is yet but do hope that this particular owner gets some break on her assessment as she is a lease holder & is charged 3% of her property's assessed value for her annual lease payment as well as property taxes. In this case her yearly lease & tax cost is over $10,000.!!!!!! A bit steep for a water access property with no municipal services that one will only use for 3-4 months of the year. .