Ferry Assessment Agreement Provides Certainty

An assessment agreement between BC Ferry Services Inc. and BC Assessment provides certainty to local governments that are home to 50 ferry terminals throughout British Columbia. The agreement provides new general assessed values for the terminals and will ensure stable property taxes for local governments over the five years of the agreement.

Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development played a key role in bringing all parties to the table to come up with the agreement. Following a decision of the BC Assessment Appeal Board directing BC Assessment to value the Horseshoe Bay Terminal at $20, there was an outcry from local governments that the ruling was misguided. UBCM Executive discussed the issue with Minister Bennett at two meetings in recent months, and was given assurance by the Minister that he was seeking a negotiated solution.

The agreement will apply a formula to 50 BC Ferries properties that will see a reduction in the assessed value for each from approximately 12 to 22%. The Swartz Bay terminal in the District of North Saanich, for example, was assessed at $44.48 million in 2012. Under the agreement, the new assessment value is $35.6 million. The reduction in value will result in a drop of $96,158 in property taxes for the District. As part of the agreement, BC Ferries is also removing all unresolved appeals of property assessments for the years 2010-2012.

“Certainty on assessment over five years is very worthwhile,” said North Saanich Mayor Alice Finall. “While we will see a 1% drop in our total tax revenue, we have assurance for the greater portion of the property's value. We are also glad to see that BC Ferries has dropped its appeals.”

"The Appeal Board decision directing BC Assessment to value the Horseshoe Bay terminal at $20 was simply not reasonable or fair to local taxpayers,” said Minister Bennett. “I asked the parties to enter into discussions and agree to a fair assessment level that made sense. I am pleased with the agreement and appreciate the efforts by everyone involved."

Meta Navigation