It took two solid days on the phone with the government, but for South Cariboo property owner Peggy Archibald it meant she gets to keep her valuable 10-acre property after being told she no longer owned it.
And now Archibald, and her friend Sally Alston who helped her, want to encourage others not to give up when faced with sometimes overwhelming government bureaucracy.
“Had we not persevered, I would have lost my property,” said Archibald.
Archibald, who works in the film industry and is often on the road, said she purchased the Bridge Lake-area property four years ago as an investment for $98,000. During the pandemic, she fell on hard times and was unable to pay her property taxes for the past few years.
Last year, things started to look up for Archibald and she contacted the government, who told her ‘nothing can be done,’ and that the property went back to Crown due to the unpaid taxes. Already feeling defeated, Archibald said she gave up the fight.
Fast forward to the present, and Archibald received her property assessment notice in the mail, which had her wondering if she did still own the property after all.
Archibald and Alston, both university graduates and longtime friends, set out to find the answer.
“We started at the bottom rung of the ladder and eventually ended up at the top, which is the levy department.”
Once she found the right department, Archibald was shocked to learn she was able to fix the problem by just paying the $4,000 debt on her more than $200,000 assessed property. She also learned that by the date of November 2023, Archibald would have lost her property had she not paid the taxes.
“It was as simple as paying my back taxes.”
Now the two women want to warn others not to give up if they run into similar trouble.
“We don’t want other people to lose their homes,” said Archibald, noting her property has increased $100,000 just in this past year on her BC Assessment and she plans to put it on the market
Archibald wanted anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to know the number for the tax levy department is 1-888-355-2700.