Residents of Protection Island, across the harbour fron Nanaimo, are balking at this year's property assessment rates, calling the increases "bizarre" and "alarming."
B.C. Assessment mailed out thousands of notices this month, noting most homeowners will see modest increases no higher than five per cent.
But Protection Island has bucked the trend with assessments on more than 100 inland homes rising by more than 10 per cent. Residents call the change puzzling and have appealed to B.C. Assessment to review their values.
Larry Iwaskow says he opened the notice for his 16-year-old Protection Island home and was "outright shocked" at the 32 per cent increase over 2012. He hasn't done any renovations on the house and can't account for the change.
Neither can Barbara LeBrasseur, whose inland home went up 21 per cent, or resident David Essig, whose property value rose 35 per cent.
"I don't know how on earth they came up with this," LaBrasseur said. "I haven't done any improvements, there has definitely been no sales in my area and I am not on the waterfront . . . it strikes me as odd."
Central Island assessor Bill MacGougan said B.C. Assessment is reviewing properties on Protection Island and acknowledges some have seen increases they shouldn't have.
There were 133 inland properties that saw values bump up by 10 per cent or higher over 2012, with at least one home seeing a 55-per-cent jump.
Rates above 20 per cent are "unusual" according to MacGougan, who says they have been communicating with island residents about the extreme value changes.
Some homes had seen major renovations or were undervalued in 2012 accounting for a rise in this year's assessment, he said and at least 40 were mistakenly included in the group.
"It was late in the project . . . that this came to our attention that we needed to make changes," MacGougan said. "We had to get the assessment roll out but we recognized we needed to have a deeper look (into Protection Island properties)."
Essig is glad for the second glance.
His home value rose from $289,000 to $390,000 this year, which he says is likely more than the market value.
Residents looking to appeal must file before Jan. 31.
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