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.


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