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LETTER: Summerland property has seen extreme swings in assessments

Farm property’s value has changed far more than average home prices in community
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Dear Editor:

It is that time of year again when assessments arrive in the mail, and we cry into our coffee mugs.

We purchased our small orchard in Summerland in 1972m just when the Agriculture Land Reserve regulations came into effect. We weren’t unhappy about that because we had no intention of subdividing.

READ ALSO: Summerland property values rise by 14 per cent

READ ALSO: Housing prices on the rise around Thompson-Okanagan

The orchard was already in two lots, with a one-acre block on which we built our house in 1978.

Between 1978 and 2022, a period of 44 years, the assessment on just that one acre lot has had a period of ups and downs with the fluctuation of the housing and land market everywhere in the Okanagan.

In 2008 when the value went up 92 per cent in one year when the assessors decided we were more residential than orchard. It took them until 2015 and a lot of phone calls to get the assessment reduced by 88 per cent but only after gains of 12 per cent in the intervening years.

After 2016 the valuation went up a total of 112 per cent, with the most recent increase of 34 per cent for our 2022 assessment while, it was stated, Summerland’s assessments were only up an average of 14 per cent.

I suppose we shouldn’t complain too much as just about everybody in Summerland is in the same boat.

However, I would suggest that those of you who have had more than the 14 per cent average check out the available website for assessments and take a look at comparable properties.

Theoretically, we should all be getting a big decrease in our assessments next year considering how over-evaluated our homes are in this down market.

Maybe if the assessment office is bombarded with phone calls they might do the evaluations in the middle of winter when home sales are more realistic rather than during summertime highs.

Frank Martens


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