2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Split Class" property tax assessment appeal dismissed by B.C. Supreme Court

Last week, the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from the Property Assessment Appeal Board related to the issue of "split assessment" of farm properties. In this case, but for the farm operations taking place on the properties in question, the lands would have been classed as residential. The question in the case was whether the Appeal Board was correct in upholding the spliting of the assessment between farm use and residential use. In other words, these particular properties did not qualify in their entirety for assessments as farm property. The residence portion of the properties were classed as residential.

The appeal to the B.C. Supreme Court was actually initiated by the Appeal Board itself. Only one of the affected property owners participated, and argued that it was unfair that properties in his area (again, where the land would otherwise have been residential but for the farming operations being carried out) were being "split assessed" whereas properties in other rural areas of the province were not being "split assessed". The Court found that this practice of splitting the assessment was part of the applicable legislation and therefore permissible. On the issue of fairness, the Court found that there was no evidence before the Appeal Board as to how other parts of the province were dealing with this issue.

Read the decision at: http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2010/2010bcsc194/2010bcsc194.html