We have alerted you to the fact that Docks and your Foreshore are now being taxed, independent of your main property. To our knowledge there was no prior notice of this from BC Assessment and it was a surprize to those property owners who have complied with the requirements to receive permission for their docks. Technically your land value should decrease by the amount that your dock and foreshore is now taxed as previously they were 'included' with your main assessment.
The following letter, received by Bo Wilson, SWOA President, covers most questions that you may have regarding the new assessment and how it relates to your taxes. Our recommendation is that if you are the least bit concerned, appeal your assessment. This will give you time to decide how best to approach your particular situation. You must appeal by this Saturday, January 30th, 2016.
Mr. Wilson, thank you for your inquiry and questions. I have attempted to address each of your concerns below.
I wanted to preface all of my statements below in that they relate only to residential private moorage areas. Different policies, rules and regulations apply to residential and commercial foreshore areas and facilities.
In your letter you stated that your “members are expressing concerns over the new method of assessing values to docks”. I wanted to explain that the method of valuation has not changed. In most cases these foreshore areas and docks were previously assessed by BCA to the upland folio. In early 2015, we were advised by our legal department that the upland folio and the foreshore folio had to be assessed separately. As a result, we undertook a project throughout the Okanagan Valley to separate them and approximately 1,800 folios were created. This now brings us in line with how these properties are handled in other assessment offices around the province.
- Are foreshore leases and Specific and General Dock Permissions treated differently?
Answer: For the purposes of residential private moorage valuation they will be treated very similarly.
- Typically a Foreshore Lease is for a clearly defined area of land while a Specific or General Dock permission has no such definition.
- A foreshore lease will generally be associated with a surveyed area. Where there is a surveyed area or an identified area made available to us by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) we will use that information as the foreshore lot size. All of the reassessment work done this year was on parcels with an identified land size.
- The specific permission documents that we have received to date from FLNRO have had areas shown on them and we will continue to use that as long as it is available.
- The general permission documents do not have an area denoted and as such we will be reviewing each of these individually to determine a reasonable area of occupation around the dock structure. For example, a rough ‘rule of thumb’ used in the past by FLNRO for residential private moorage purposes was 20mx43m.
- How is the land value portion of a dock assessment calculated especially when Specific and General Permissions do not include a measurable land designation?
Answer: For the purposes of residential private moorage folios the market land value of these sites has been set at a nominal value of $1,000.
- The role numbers for the residential property and the dock are the same except for the number after the decimal. For example the property has a role number of xxxxx.000 and the dock xxxxx.001. Does this signify two separate parcels?
Answer: These are two separate assessment roll numbers and represent two separate legal parcels. As noted above it was determined that these parcels had to be valued on separate roll numbers due to differing ownership and tenure.
- Will property owners now have to pay double parcel taxes, one for the property and one for the dock?
Answer: Parcel taxes are established by the Regional District. IF there is a parcel tax payable then that parcel tax will be shown as a line item on each tax notice.
(ED: Most areas of the CSRD have one or more parcel taxes on their tax bill, so here you would pay that for each assessment notice)
- In the past the dock value was included in the total assessment. How will property owners confirm that the dock assessment has in fact been taken out of the residential property portion of the assessment?
Answer: The owner is welcome to call us to confirm that the information has been removed from their property file (1.866.825.8322).
- How and when will this new assessment process be applied to unregistered docks?
Answer: We have already commenced a project this year to value those residential private moorage areas that were not included in Phase 1. This project is to be completed and included in the 2017 Roll. Pre-roll consultation letters will once again be sent later in the year to those property owners impacted.
Essentially, those persons who are using foreshore areas for residential private moorage purposes are considered ‘occupiers’ of Crown land. The Assessment Act states that all ‘occupiers’ are assessable and must be shown on the assessment roll. If an area of occupation is identified then we will use that information. Otherwise we will review each residential private moorage area to determine a reasonable size.
I have included links below to the BCA Fact Sheet for occupiers of crown land and crown land leases & licenses.
Services-products/property- classes-and-exemptions/crown- land-leases-licenses-and- permits/occupiers-of-crown- municipal-or-otherwise-exempt- land
Services-products/property- classes-and-exemptions/crown- land-leases-licenses-and- permits/about-crown-land- leases-license-and-permits
If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact Mr. Ray Nickle at local 19443 or myself.
Katrina LeNoury, BA, AACI, P.App
T 1-866-valueBC (825-8322) x 19325
300 – 1631 Dickson Avenue | Kelowna, BC V1Y 0B5 | bcassessment.ca