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Canada’s top court sides with HRM: Citadel Hill payments
should reflect assessed value
(Friday, June 15, 2012) – In a decision released this morning, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in HRM’s favour regarding the municipality’s long-standing position that Citadel Hill should make payments in lieu of property taxes in accordance with the hill’s assessed value.
The decision means a new determination will be made by the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada on the value of the historic Citadel in consideration of the assessed value of the site.
“We are extremely pleased that the highest court in the country shares our view that payments in lieu of taxes should be based on a reasonable assessment of Citadel Hill, which occupies a vast parcel of prime land in the heart of our municipality,” said Mayor Peter Kelly. “We look forward to an appropriate determination of payment in lieu of taxes.”
HRM maintains the Citadel property should make a payment in lieu of taxes based on a value of approximately $19 million, while the federal government had determined the value of the hill should be set at $1.55 million.
“This is a big win for our municipality and for every residential and commercial property owner in HRM who has been expected to pay taxes while Citadel Hill has paid an unreasonably low sum,” said Mayor Peter Kelly.
The Mayor is pleased that today’s decision speaks to the need for fair dealings with municipalities across the country, and agrees with the Supreme Court’s position that it is clearly unreasonable that 42 acres in the heart of downtown could have essentially no value for assessment purposes.
The Supreme Court decision also awards legal costs to the municipality which will be calculated and submitted for payment.
“The fact that our legal costs will be covered speaks volumes about the Supreme Court’s conviction in its decision,” said the Mayor.
The decision can be found at: http://scc.lexum.org/en/2012/2012scc29/2012scc29.html
Mayor Peter Kelly