Qualicum Beach business facing steep property values

Qualicum Beauty Salon and Barbershop taking steps to avoid closing after 45 years in business.

The Qualicum Barber Shop and Beauty Salon.

The Qualicum Barber Shop and Beauty Salon.

Fred Lucht has spent much of his adult life around the Qualicum Barbershop and Beauty Salon. It is owned by his mom Mary and late father, Fred Sr., and has been a Qualicum Beach institution for the last 45 years.

Fred Jr. didn’t expect that a simple property value assessment could put his family’s history at the business in jeopardy.

Earlier this month, Lucht said he opened his property assessment notice, to find it had ballooned by 50 per cent. A modest building sits on the property – as do a couple of low-income rental units – which have not changed much over the years (it was built in, and operated as a barbershop, in 1945). This assessment increased the value of these building from $375,000 to $505,000 Lucht said.

“I was quite taken aback by it,” he said, adding his immediate thought was that their subsequent property taxes would force the family to close their business.

“Indeed, our taxes will double,” he explained after meeting with staff at the Town of Qualicum Beach. “We are facing some bad choices. We would have to absorb the new costs somehow – raise our rates or raise rent.”

Before considering shutting down the business, Lucht said he has gone to the municipality for help, and hopes to meet with the mayor soon. He has also spoken with the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce, seeking advice. During his research, Lucht said he has come across other local businesses facing steep assessment increases.

Lucht said he called the BC Assessment office and confirmed no one from there had visited his family’s property in making their determination of its value. The assessment, he said, was based on other nearby property improvements. the only improvement to his own property, he said, was a new deck.

Nearby, on Memorial Avenue, improvements and new commercial buildings have been added to the downtown area. Lucht said he believes this fact led to his higher assessment.

Lucht is appealing the assessment, with the hope of bringing it back down to earth. Businesses or homeowners who wish to appeal their property’s assessed values – from too high to too low – have until Jan. 31 to file a complaint to BC Assessment. Appeals will be heard by a board between Feb. 1 and March 15.

BC Assessment reports that business properties in central Vancouver Island went up in value by 3.62 per cent over 2011. Residential properties declined in value by a mere 0.06 per cent. These are averages, and each property’s value will vary.

BC Assessment states that real estate sales determine a property’s value. Local governments and other taxing authorities are responsible for property taxation.

Peter Doukakis, manager of the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce said Lucht’s issue is the first one he’s heard of this year and, generally, the chamber could step in to help as a last resort after the assessment appeal process. The chamber board members will also be discussing the matter.

Just Posted

(File photo)
The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre at 100 Jensen Ave. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville 2020 annual report now ready for public feedback

Documents can be viewed online; comments or questions to be submitted before noon on July 5, 2021

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

The number of skilled trades workers available is not enough to fill the current construction boom in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Supply of skilled tradespeople can’t keep up to Vancouver Island construction boom

Thousands of positions will be needed by 2030, despite flow of Camosun trades students

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

Swanwick Ranch in Metchosin, featuring an award-winning home on 67 acres of property overlooking the ocean, recently sold for a record-setting, yet undisclosed amount. (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada photo)
Oceanfront home sells for highest price ever recorded in Greater Victoria

Listed at $14.1 million, Swanwick Ranch in Metchosin sold to an undisclosed buyer

This map outlines the area affected by the open burning prohibition. Via Coastal Fire Centre
Vancouver Island open fire prohibition takes effect June 23

Ban applies to both public and private land, includes fireworks

The price of gas is way up in many parts of Greater Victoria after a Monday afternoon surge sent it to 162.9 cents per litre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gas prices surge to 162.9 cents a litre at some Greater Victoria stations

Prices jumped up more than 10 cents Monday afternoon

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Most Read