BC Assessment identified properties with docks by sending separate assessment notices in January.
This month the property tax bill arrives and property owners who received the second assessment will also receive two tax bills (in two separate mailings!) for their waterfront property. When BC Assessment started this program in 2015 they claimed it would be revenue neutral, we would not pay more tax. This may be true if the total of your property assessment and your dock assessment add to the true assessed value of your property AND if all taxes paid were done through mil rate. In the CSRD and a few other areas of the Province we also have ‘services’ paid through parcel tax. These are items that should be paid equally by all property owners in the area where the ‘service’ is provided. Waterfront properties in the Shuswap will pay twice for two services, liquid waste management and Shuswap Watershed Council. On this year’s tax bill, the total extra we will pay for these two parcel tax items is less than $20 but it doesn’t make it right. The process is flawed in so many ways, for example, not all docks are identified. The government has been spending time and money on this since 2015, property values in the Shuswap are increasing but if you add your two assessments together and compare to the single assessment method used previously, you likely will see a larger increase than what is appropriate. How will they identify ‘users of crown land’ for docks placed on public land and why are docks taxed as if they are a building when other structures without a foundation are not?
SWOA has brought this issue up with the Province, our local government and the Ombudsman’s office but have not had success in stopping the unfair practice.