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North Saanich, Nanaimo to challenge B.C. Ferries assessment

The District of North Saanich and City of Nanaimo will jointly appeal a recent Property Assessment Appeal Board ruling that reduced the assessed value of land at the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal from $47 million to only $20.

The decision impacts the budget of the District of West Vancouver, which faces repaying more than $750,000 for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 taxation years. West Vancouver is appealing the decision, as is the B.C. Assessment Authority itself. B.C. Ferries had won their property assessment appeal, stating the land's highest and best use was for a ferry terminal and that no one would be willing to buy it, as is it's part of a money-losing transportation system.

B.C. Ferries is currently appealing the land value of the Swartz Bay terminal in North Saanich. If they are successful there, a land value reduction could affect the estimated $395,000 in taxes (2012 numbers) B.C. Ferries pays the District of North Saanich.

"Acting jointly in this matter should improve the possibility of a fair outcome for our two municipalities," stated North Saanich mayor Alice Finall in a joint media release with City of Nanaimo mayor John Ruttan.

Ruttan noted that his council believes every property should bear its fair share of the cost of services provided by local government. In Nanaimo, B.C. Ferries operates both the Departure Bay and Duke Point terminals, paying around $1.1 million in tax.

Nanaimo and North Saanich's joint appeal shares resources and costs in a common goal, states the media release.

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