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Posts tagged ‘Vernon-Monashee MLA’

Eric Foster’s constituency office reassessed at $214,000

I’ve been meaning to update this blog with the results of my complaint to BC Assessment.

Back in January, I filed a complaint regarding the 2012 assessment of the Vernon-Monashee MLA constituency office. The office in question is located at 3209 31 Ave in Vernon (it was purchased by Kalview Park Enterprises just days before the 2009 election).

The original 2012 assessed value was $177,100. This seemed ridiculously low given that the MLA in question, Eric Foster, had arranged for as much as $78,000 to be spent on office renovations.

After receiving the complaint, BC Assessment – to their credit – assigned two senior employees to reexamine the property. The new value from BC Assessment was $214,000. This was an increase of $36,900 (a 20% increase from the original value). The $214,000 assessment was confirmed after a hearing at the Property Assessment Review Panel.

The building owners, who are allegedly related to Eric Foster’s constituency assistant, did not bother to show up at the hearing.

Complaint filed with BC Assessment regarding assessed value of Vernon-Monashee MLA’s constituency office

I’ve filed an online complaint with BC Assessment regarding their assessed value of the building leased by the MLA for Vernon-Monashee. Here is my complaint:

“Recent media reports suggest that in 2009, the individual leasing 3209 31st Avenue in Vernon – Mr. Eric Foster – spent as much as $78,000 on building renovations. This property is currently assessed at $187,100. Given the renos, I believe its actual market value to be higher.”

(If you are not familiar with this building, here is a good summary of the issues from the Vernon Morning Star.)

The complaint will be heard by the Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP). A date has not been set yet, but the Panel is required to hold the hearing by March 15th. The hearing will be open to the public.

I will be asking the Panel to compel Mr. Foster to appear as a witness at the hearing and also to produce financial documents regarding the 2009 renovations. This way he can demonstrate the value added to the property through the expenditure of public funds. The authority for the Panel to compel witnesses and order disclosure is found in Section 39 of the Assessment Act.

I am looking for someone in the Vernon area to represent me as an agent in this matter. This would be on a pro bono basis. I am seeking a person with a background in law and real estate who is passionate about accountability and fiscal responsibility. If you would like to be my agent, please contact me.

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