Sunday, November 04, 2012

What is a Ferry Terminal Worth?

Christy Clark's provincial government stuck it to the District of West Vancouver recently in ruling by the province controlled Property Assessment Appeal Board related to the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. The dispute is over land taxes for the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal.

The ferry terminal sits on two parcels of District of West Vancouver land valued in 2002 at $41.4 million and $6.3 million respectively. In its ruling, the Appeal Board reduced the assessed values for these two parcels to $10.00 each. The decision is retroactive to 2010 and will require the District to repay property tax revenues collected for the last three years. The annual tax bill for the properties has been about $250,000 per year according to the Districts records. West Vancouver residents are expected to shoulder the three quarters of a million dollar bill.  Estimates are that residential property taxes will need to raise by 2% to cover the cost.

While the province has tried to make BC Ferries look like a private company, the facts are 100% of the shares of that private company are owned by the provincial government.  Looks pretty much like Premier Clark had her Property Assessment Appeal Board give her Ferry Corp a pass on future property taxes and a nice little $750,000 kickback at the same time.

Every municipality that is home to a Ferry Terminal needs to rethink their revenue forecasts for land owned by Provincial Government owned/operated organizations.


Tags: ;

Saturday, November 03, 2012

SNAF between West Van District and DFO over Lighthouse Maintenance

The support facilities around the navigation beacon in West Vancouver's Lighthouse Park at Point Atkinson Lighthouse continue to be at risk of falling into ruins according to the heritage group that oversees it, in part because of the administrative limbo it, along with other lighthouses in Canada, has fallen into. The light was designated a National Historic Site in 1994 and was added to the West Vancouver Community Heritage Register last summer. The caretaker duties have been divided over the years, the neglect has caused some buildings to fall apart, according to Elaine Graham, of the West Vancouver Historical Society’s Point Atkinson Light Station subcommittee.

The lighthouse was automated in 1996, and the last lightkeeper, Graham’s late husband, lost his job. However, he was hired on to perform groundskeeper duties for two on-site homes that were taken over by the city, but that did not include upkeep of the main structures. Those remained under the Canadian government’s jurisdiction. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans took care of the lighthouse proper, but the other buildings, walkways, and helicopter landing pad were left to decay.


Tags: ;;