Sick of taxes going up, up, up

Seniors should not be forced to take this option just to be able to stay in their homes.

Sick of taxes going up, up, up

I received my 2018 property tax notice and I am tired of my taxes going up and up and up. I live in a typical 1960s “B.C. BOX” with a cathedral entrance in front. There are lots of them in the valley. I did close in my sundeck to make a family room off the kitchen, which others have done.

I disputed my 2017 BC Assessment as I compared my house to my neighbours, which are similar, and my assessment was dropped by $30,000 from the original 25 per cent increase from 2016 which dropped to a 13 per cent increase instead. So again this year I disputed my 2018 BC Assessment which had gone up another 20 per cent from my 2017 reassessed value, but the panel said no to lowering my assessment. From 2017 to 2018 my increase was 33 per cent, which is another one-third the original value of my home. The result is that apparently my house is worth $57,000 more now than in 2017, which means that my property tax notice with the basic grant and senior’s grant, as a result, it is costing me $263 more than last year.

Then to top that off, North Cowichan has enclosed a flyer with our bills and at the bottom is supposed to be how “the average” home is compared to other communities. North Cowichan shows $1,480 in comparison, which I’m guessing is with the basic grant of living in your home. I thought my house was average, but apparently not! They also used the 2016 taxes for comparison which is the only year the taxes went down. My 2016 property taxes with the basic grant was $1,971, that is almost $500 more than the “average house” in North Cowichan. I must have an average house in Nanaimo instead, as that is where my “average” house fits on this scale of communities, NOT in North Cowichan. I think that the residents of North Cowichan are being played to make us think that our taxes are not too high!

Of course North Cowichan offers the option to defer my property taxes by letting North Cowichan gradually purchase my house basically by reverse mortgage, which I think should be illegal. It is a sad situation where some seniors are forced into that option just for the privilege of being able to stay in their own homes that they worked so hard to get! The municipality will end up with many more “assets” by these means. Seniors should not be forced to take this option just to be able to stay in their homes.

The CVRD seems to take a very large chunk of our property taxes too! All their wages and benefits keep going up and most of our incomes seem to be going down.

Is there anyone out there who feels the same way I do or am I all alone in this? I am a 71-year-old grandmother raising two granddaughters on my own, so I don’t have the energy to fight city hall, but I do what I can. My youngest granddaughter just turned 11 years old so I have a ways to go and I don’t want to have to sell my house and raise her in an apartment building because my property taxes are too expensive.

I certainly don’t need local government whittling away at what I have left.

V. Dobson

North Cowichan

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