Victoria councillors this week approved a 10-year tax holiday for the Customs House residential/commercial project at Government and Wharf streets. Site work for the luxury homes project is due to start this fall, with the projected completion time early 2020. Courtesy Edelman

City grants 10-year tax ‘holiday’ for luxury condo building

$5.4-million tax break will offset Custom House heritage redevelopment

The City of Victoria has granted a 10-year “tax holiday” to people purchasing units in the Customs House development – but not everyone is on board.

Touted as the most expensive condominium project in Victoria, units at Customs House are reportedly selling between $1.6 million and $3.09 million, according to the Multiple Listing Service webpage.

During Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting, councillors were divided over how the tax break would impact all residents of Victoria, not just the wealthy.

Coun. Jeremy Loveday argued that while it is important to preserve heritage sites, everyday taxpayers should not subsidize tax breaks granted to luxury home owners.

Coun. Ben Isitt supported Loveday, adding his concern over potential for the development to increase the vacancy rate. “I have zero interest in giving a 10-year tax holiday to a ghost hotel,” Isitt told council.

A staff report stated the tax break mostly offset the $6.5-million cost of refurbishing the local landmark. Over 10 years, the tax break is projected to be worth approximately $5.4 million.

Coun. Geoff Young voiced concerns of a major earthquake destroying the heritage building, and Coun. Chris Coleman said it was unfair to refer to the program as a tax “holiday” rather than a “deferral.”

Launched in 1998, the City’s tax incentive program has helped owners of heritage sites maintain older buildings. The City claimed that since it’s inception, the program has created 694 residential units in 43 buildings.

anna.james@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Two Oak Bay officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

UPDATE: Recycling truck destroyed by fire in Victoria

Emterra truck sitting on McLure Street in residential neighbourhood, driver safe

Victoria Shamrocks acquire NLL and MSL all-star

Rob Hellyer brings offensive power to the Shamrocks

VicPD cuts school liaison program over budget impasse with Esquimalt

Six officers, including three school liaisons, to be reassigned to frontline duties

Vancouver Island is home to some of the ‘rattiest’ cities in B.C.

Three municipalities in Greater Victoria, and three more around the Island have gnawed their way into the top 20

VIDEO: B.C. man recognized for spinning basketball on toothbrush

Abbotsford man holds world record for longest duration of time of 60.5 seconds

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Sights of Saanich bring smiles to Japanese delegation

A small leap highlighted the short but potentially historic visit of a… Continue reading

Arrests made after truck crashes into unmarked police cars in Nanaimo

Two men facing numerous charges after allegedly fleeing scene on the mid-island

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

Most Read