Re: "$20 - That's the land value of a B.C. Ferries terminal," Nov. 8.
B.C. Ferry Corp. has managed to get a reduction in the assessment of its Horseshoe Bay terminal, to a value of $20, because it claimed that the property isn't worth anything as it's restricted to use as a ferry terminal - and as a non-profit company that loses money, it would be unable to attract a buyer.
My immediate reaction was "That's nonsense. I'd buy our local dock for a million dollars if they were willing to sell it to me. The zoning is good for marinas, fuel docks, sea plane docks, caretaker's housing (no size limit), yacht clubs, and on and on."
But another thought came to me. If B.C. Ferries is part of the highway system, why should it pay property tax? Does any municipality collect property tax on whatever part of a B.C. highway runs through it?
Central Saanich sure doesn't. If it did, I figure that the Pat Bay Highway would be worth about $20 million per year in taxes just to Central Saanich, based on the amount of land it occupies.
So if that's the case, why should B.C. Ferries pay property taxes on its terminals? And it can't be because of the municipal services that it consumes.
No ferry terminal uses services worth a fraction of the taxes it pays.
So, are ferries a part of the highway system, or not? If so, no property taxes. If not, would everyone please cease that argument?
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