Cariboo Regional District Board. (Submitted photo)

‘Significant’ increase expected for region-wide services

Assessment value increase sees rise in property taxes

Residents in several electoral areas of the South Cariboo can expect “significant increases” in their property tax bill for region-wide services this year, according to the Cariboo Regional District.

The increases, anticipated for Areas G (108 Mile-Lac La Hache), H (Canim Lake -Forest Grove) and L (Interlakes -Lone Butte) are the result of larger-than-average jumps in B.C. property assessments in 2022. Region-wide services include administration, bylaw enforcement, grants-in-aid, land-use planning, rural refuse and solid-waste management.

Properties in these areas have seen increases in value as high as 50 per cent from last year. The average increase for the region is listed as 27 per cent by BC Assessment.

“A key driver of the increased assessments is the current real estate market in our region,” a CRD release last week stated. “Interest in Cariboo properties is very high, with some buyers paying over asking price for desirable properties. This activity is resulting in higher assessments across the region.”

READ MORE: Drastic jump in South Cariboo property values

The CRD notes that local services that apply to specific Electoral Areas or neighbourhoods – such as fire protection – will likely remain the same “unless your property is assessed significantly higher than your neighbours.”

John Cameron, who owns a 32-acre property near Bridge Lake, said he was shocked to discover the listed value of his 288-sq-ft. cabin had seen a 100 per cent value increase over last year.

Cameron said he called the BC Assessment toll-free number to ask about the unexpected increase and was told it’s due to the high demand for a small recreational building on a large piece of property.

“In that case, everybody’s property should have doubled in value,” Cameron said.

The 75-year-old said he felt that he was being financially punished for going through the proper permit and inspection processes for building the 12 by 24-foot structure.

He said many other properties in his neighbourhood have illegal structures or RVs on them, with no consequences.

“They’re not paying the taxes that I am, and I feel I’m being penalized for following the rules,” Cameron said.

While Cameron said he wouldn’t appeal the BC Assessment, following two unsuccessful appeal attempts on a former property in years past, other property owners who wish to do so have until Jan. 31 to file an appeal in writing.

Appeals will undergo an independent review, which will take place online in February or March when a panel will determine if the assessment is reasonable.

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