Owners of the Argyle’s Garden Market face a staggering commercial assessment.

Owners of the Argyle’s Garden Market face a staggering commercial assessment.

Businesses stunned by assessment jump

Tax hike is too much for some owners in roundabout proximity

By Paul J. Henderson, Black Press

Nigel and Joan Argyle have been farming vegetables and running their Popkum garden centre for 35 years.

Argyle’s Garden Market is a popular spot for gardeners and hanging basket buyers, but it’s not exactly a huge money maker.

And so when the two 82-year-olds saw their notice from BC Assessment showed a land value increase of 409 per cent, they were shocked.

“It’s basically killing me,” Nigel told Black Press. “It’s ridiculous.”

While property taxes in the rural areas outside of the City of Chilliwack may be lower than for those in the city, for the Argyles and their tight margins, a tax hike from about $6,000 last year to an estimated $20,000 year could put them out of business down the road.

And while their commercial assessment jump was staggering, some of their neighbours surrounding the Yale Road-Highway 9 roundabout also had big jumps in value.

The land at their garden centre at 52905 Yale Road went from a valuation of $241,000 last year to $1.23 million this year.

Across Highway 9 the owners of the Tim Hortons-Esso property saw a land increase from $251,800 to $1.15 million a 358 per cent increase.

Next to them, the Wildcat Grill land jumped from $219,800 to $805,900 or a 266 per cent increase.

But the owners of the property where the new Petro-Canada and Subway is located got one of the biggest shocks as the land went from $609,800 to $6.2 million, a 917 per cent increase.

But the largest jump of all—and possibly part of the reason behind the focus on this small area—was 52892 Bunker Rd., the location of Minter Gardens, which closed on Oct. 15, 2013.

Since last year, the Minter Gardens land jumped from a value of $364,100 to $3.8 million, a 947 per cent increase. Total assessment was at $5 million, which actually might make sense since the property (along with adjacent 9980 Llanberis Way) is listed by Colliers Canada as a “beautifully landscaped income producing property” with residential development potential. List price: $5.95 million.

As soon as you start moving away from the roundabout, however, assessments saw just minor increases. Just north of the Petro-Canada is 52964 Yale Rd., which has no buildings, and similarly jumped in value by 308 per cent. Move one more address to the east and the land value increase was just four per cent.

The same can be said for residential increases to the west of the Wildcat Grill on Yale Road.

As for other commercial properties in the area across Highway 1, properties along Bridal Falls Road saw only minor increases. The Rainbow Ranch RV Park, for example, saw a zero per cent land value increase. The Rancher’s Restaurant property went up four per cent, and the Bridal Falls Motel went up 4.8 per cent.

But if increases are supposed to rely upon recent sales in the area, some say they don’t make sense. Popkum resident, local realtor and one-time political candidate Michael Henshall said he couldn’t figure out the massive jumps in the roundabout property assessments either.

“There are no commercial properties in the area selling on regular basis to justify these huge increases,” Henshall said.

For its part, BC Assessment said the value of these properties “needed to increase to be more reflective of a probable selling price.”

Brian Smith, deputy assessor for the Fraser Valley Region, said development of the properties near the Argyles spurred the big jumps.

“In a review and in discussion with some people in this particular area, we felt that last year’s assessment did not reflect the market value of the property so a reassessment of the year did occur,” Smith said via email.

As for the Argyles, they would like to retire and have three times in the last four years listed their property for sale for more than $1 million with not one single offer.

As for the business, Nigel and Joan say they don’t take a salary and after all the bills and employees are paid after a four-month season, they take in just $40,000. So a property tax jump of $14,000 is substantial.

Nigel says the tax bill will be too much, considering there are few services at their address, including no sewage.

As for this season, plants have been ordered and Argyle’s Garden Market will open as planned, but the future is certainly in doubt now, although they have taken steps to appeal the assessment.

“We don’t want to close up,” Nigel said.

Just Posted

(Photo/Mary-Jean Coyle)
Community Camera for June 11, 2021

Submit your photos to news@ahobserver.com

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read