Property owners typically appeal the assessment of their homes on grounds that these are too high.
That’s understandable because the higher the assessment, the more they have to pay in taxes.
However, some owners do the opposite.
They argue that the valuation of their properties is not high enough, and so they want an increase.
In rare occasions, they get what they wish for.
This was the case for Davinder K. Gill, owner of a waterfront property in the Ocean Park neighbourhood of Surrey.
A Property Assessment Appeal Board (PAAB) panel has increased the valuation of Gill's property by 56.3 percent to 3,769,000.
That's $1,358,000 more than the 2021 assessment of $2,411,000 for Gill’s 13531 Marine Drive residence.
Edwina Nearhood, chair of a PAAB panel, considered Gill’s appeal.
In her decision and order, Nearhood noted that the property is “located in an established neighbourhood of single-family dwellings with ocean view properties”.
For Gill, the $2,411,000 assessment was “too low”.
That’s broken down into $1,357,000 for the land, and $1,054,000 for the three-level home.
However, the owner did “not propose an estimate of market value” for the South Surrey property.
An online search shows that the 13531 Marine Drive property was previously listed on the market for $3.5 million.
Going back to the appeal, Gill and the assessor presented different examples of recent sales as evidence.
One common example they offered to the PAAB was the sale of 13161 Marine Drive, which is on the same block as Gill’s property.
The said neighbouring property sold in December 2020, although Gill and the assessor presented different prices of $3.8 million and $3,990,000, respectively.
Just the same, Nearhood found 13161 Marine Drive as the “strongest indicator of market value due to its location, proximity to the Subject, and similar lot size, improvement size and age”.
“Based on the evidence available to me there is no significant difference in access to waterfront,” Nearhood said of the two properties.
The assessor applied a negative 5.5 percent time adjustment to the sale price of $3,990,000, resulting in a time-adjusted sale price of $3,769,000 for 13161 Marine Drive.
“The Subject’s market value would be slightly lower than this sale’s time adjusted sale of $3,769,000, because this sale is slightly larger and a newer build than the Subject,” Nearhood wrote.
The PAAB panel chair explained that this sale “sets the upper limit of the market value range”.
As Gill did not propose a new market value, Nearhood did it for the South Surrey property owner.
“I respect the Appellant’s wishes to increase their assessment to market value and I find the market value of the Subject to be $3,769,000, which is to be apportioned to the assessments of land and buildings on the same pro-rata basis as the 2021 assessment,” Nearhood wrote.
The new assessment is broken into $2,225,480 for the land, and $1,543,520 for the house.