The Kimberley and District Chamber of Commerce is calling for a change to how commercial properties are assessed by the province.
Chamber Manager Mike Guarnery wants City Council and local MLA Doug Clovechok to advocate for a review of BC Assessment’s processes and what role municipalities can play in determining evaluations.
This comes after new owners took over Hotel Kimberley last April, inheriting a 2017 assessment worth $1.24 million.
The window for them to appeal had already closed by the time they received the keys and Guernery, and the owners, believe the amount is unfair considering the condition the building was in at the time.
They claim the property’s value grew $300,000 in the two years prior despite having no work put into it.
Meanwhile 2018’s assessment valued the hotel at $705,000, half a million dollars less than the year before.
Guarnery says this proves the 2017 assessment was incorrect.
The owners argue parts of the assessment were based on regional occupancy rates of 30% but the Hotel Kimberley is limited to half that at 15%.
BC laws prevent municipalities from having a role in the assessment process but Guernery proposes maybe that can be amended.
He tried to plant a seed with Kimberley City Council at its January 8th meeting in hopes of having the issue discussed at April’s Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments (AKBLG) convention in Fernie.
The Chamber manager believes it is in City Council’s best interest to be able to have a say in situations like the one involving Hotel Kimberley, a building Guernery refers to as an integral economic driver in the heart of the community.
He says if there’s a way to improve the consistency of assessments it my leave more money for owners to put into their businesses.
In the meantime, the Chamber asked Council if the City’s Chief Financial Officer may help the hotel owners make any headway with BC Assessment and reopening an appeal process.
– Kimberley Chamber of Commerce Manager Mike Guarnery