Burnaby should adopt assessment averaging policy
The City of Burnaby city tax increase of 3.98 per cent is tied with Pitt Meadows as the third highest out of the 17 major municipalities in the Metro Vancouver.
It is too high and it would appear that other councils tried harder than Burnaby's to keep their taxes down. The trouble with our city hall is that there is no opposition on council to challenge any increase in taxes.
The tax increase turned out to be even higher in my part of the South Slope. The average increase of the city tax was around 10 per cent in this area. Out of the six streets consisting of 430 homes which I was able to check, only 36 had increases of four per cent or less. There was another 92 with increases of 11 per cent and over.
Much of these increases can be blamed on the significant jump in assessments from 2011, and although Burnaby city council has no control over assessments, they do have the responsibility and means to find ways to cushion the resulting substantial tax increases.
One method would be "averaging of assessments" which is used in Vancouver. If averaging were used in Burnaby, my city tax increase would have been only around three per cent and not the 14 per cent I was nailed with.
Averaging would also apply to other taxing authorities such as schools.