Increase in provincial assessments don’t add up

It would take 100,000 property sales each with an increased sale value of $3,250,000 to account for the increase in assessed property values

“Things as certain as death and taxes can be more firmly believed.” Daniel Defoe (1661-1731) – The political history of the devil (1726).

In 2016 the B.C. government determined the total assessed value of all real estate in the province was $1.34 trillion, an 11.1 per cent increase from 2015. In 2017 the total assessed value increased to $1.68 trillion. This was a 25 per cent increase from 2016 and amounts to an increase of about $340 billion in assessed property values in one year. A total of $25.2 billion of this figure was attributed to new construction, subdivisions and rezonings. What was the remaining $325 billion attributed to? Perhaps it was increased real estate sales activity?

It would take 100,000 property sales each with an increased sale value of $3,250,000 to account for the $325 billion increase in assessed property values for 2017.

Is it possible the current government has plans for a very expensive massive project which may cost billions of dollars? Having a tax base of over a trillion dollars of assessed value of real estate would be an asset in selling bonds to finance the project.

The old North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA) has been sitting on the shelf for over 60 years. With climate change, there is an increasing demand for irrigation water south of the border. With the push for green renewable energy there is also an increasing demand for hydroelectric power. NAWAPA  could be a real money-maker for B.C., but at what cost for the environment?

On April 1, 1981, Bill Bennett, while in California, was asked if his government was considering exporting water to the United States. He answered:  No, but come and see me in 20 years. That was 38 years ago and NAWAPA is still available, sitting on the shelf. The project would cost several hundred billion dollars.

In 2016 the B.C. Assessment Authority issued its 2016-2018 Services Plan.

The plan contains statements such as: “all significant assumptions, policy decisions, events and identifiable risks as of Jan. 8, 2016 have been considered in the plan.”

What is the BC Liberal government planning to do?  Is it going to implement a part of the North American Water and Power Alliance plan if it wins the upcoming election?

David A Ward