VICTORIA - The B.C. government has stepped in to solve a property tax disagreement that saw the value of the BC Ferries Horseshoe Bay terminal jump from $20 to $47 million.
The District of West Vancouver filed notice in November it was taking the body that devalued the terminal to court after learning it would collect no future property taxes, a loss worth hundreds of thousands annually.
Mayors of other cities also spoke out against the decision, fearing their BC Ferries terminals would be similarly devalued and that would result in a massive dent in their municipal budgets.
Minister Bill Bennett says the Horseshoe Bay terminal has been revalued after he asked the parties to talk because the drop was not reasonable or fair for local taxpayers.
The Property Assessment Appeal Board had determined two parcels of land at Horseshoe Bay had no market value because the province had designated their only purpose to be as a ferry terminal, meaning there was no potential for profit.
The province says the assessment authority will now use a formula that ensures predictable values for all 48 provincial ferry terminals over the next five years, while BC Ferries has withdrawn all unresolved assessment appeals.