Improvements needed for property assessment system

Province should hire enough assessors to establish the real market value of residential property

It was a shock to find our property assessment notice for 2017 has risen 34 per cent. The current market value determined by a professional real estate appraiser was about 70 per cent of the government value. This cost us $400.

We tried to find legislated rules which the government uses to establish an assessed value for residential property. At first none were found. However, there are such rules for ski hill properties, dams, power plants and substations, there may be others.

From discussions with neighbours and relatives, it appears assessed values are no longer based on an estimated or market value but are being generated by some sort of modified blanket appraisal system covering a much larger area than just a local neighborhood.

Further research revealed the Ministry of Finance is proud of its independent, uniform and efficient mass appraisal system. Under this system the ministry has reduced the workforce and attendant costs. This system seems to be a “shoot first and ask questions later” proposition.

Whoever gets shot has to prove he should not have been shot. It is suggested that government finds it a financial benefit to use a managed appraisal system, using robots instead of hiring humans with all their attendant costs.

I find this mass assessment procedure to be callous and offensive. The government has millions of dollars of surplus funds. Surely we can afford to hire enough assessors to establish the real market value of residential property by rules and procedures which have been used traditionally for many years.

David Ward

 

Saanich