B.C. Ferries assessment sends chill through North Saanich

District municipality could be affected by recent decision to reduce value of Horseshoe Bay terminal from $47.9 million to twenty bucks.

The Swartz Bay ferry terminal in North Saanich.

A recent decision by the B.C. Property Assessment Appeal Board to reduce the current value of the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal in West Vancouver from $47.9 million to just 20 bucks, has coastal communities with B.C. Ferries docks — including the District of North Saanich — worried over possible lost tax revenue.

In its Oct. 29, 2012 decision, the Appeal Board agreed with B.C. Ferries’ argument — made in July — that “the properties have no market value because they have no other purpose other than as a ferry terminal and there is no potential for profit under this use.” The District of West Vancouver is appealing the decision, citing a potential loss of close to $1 million in past and anticipated tax revenue. B.C. Ferries had appealed their Horseshoe Bay assessment for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

“We will do everything we can to reduce the impact of this decision on our taxpayers,” stated West Vancouver Mayor Michael Smith in a media release. ” This is another example of costs being downloaded to a municipality, and this decision sets a precedent for assessment reviews for ferry terminals in the entire province. Every city and town in B.C. that has a ferry terminal should be worried about this outrageous decision.”

The District of North Saanich has asked to be notified of any news from West Vancouver’s appeal of the decision. Director of Financial Services, Theresa Flynn said Thursday that B.C. Ferries is appealing the assessed value of their terminal lands in other municipalities — including Swartz Bay in North Saanich. That land is currently valued at around $43 million. If the corporation is successful, the district, Flynn said, stands to lose around $385,000 in tax revenue for 2012 — the only year that B.C. Ferries has appealed in their case.

“We are following this closely,” Flynn said, adding the district could know more about the appeal by both West Vancouver and the B.C. Assessment Authority next week during a meeting they have with the Assessment Authority on other matters.

District of North Saanich Mayor Alice Finall said she’s worried about how the decision will impact her community, adding she will also watch the appeal process as it unfolds.

“This is a worrying development, in terms of the assessment authority’s direction,” Finall said. “This could impact two per cent or more of our annual budget. An impact of close to $400,000 in our budget is no joke.”

That impact would, she continued, directly affect local taxpayers.

The District of North Saanich provides sewer and water utility services to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, as well as police and fire protection. Finall said should the land value of the terminal also be affected by an Appeal Board decision, the district would look at its options in recouping the cost of those services from B.C. Ferries.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay, Esquimalt firefighters headed up the big climb Sunday

Oak Bay firefighter joins former Esquimalt assistant chief for 48-storey stair climb

Development will bring 77 new homes to Colwood

Developers preparing land for six-storey, four-storey and two three-storey buildings on Sooke Road

Kids learn the ropes of business with free UVic entreprenuership training

The second annual Kidovate program is now open for registration

VicPD arrest man after hours-long barricade on Pandora Avenue

Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team called in to assist

Island teen climber seizes last opportunity to qualify in 2020 Olympic games

Brennan Doyle, 16, heads to L.A. for Pan American Climbing Championships

VIDEO: Alleged shoplifter caught on camera at Sidney boutique

Staff at Cameron Rose Gifts seek the public’s help locating woman

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Most Read