condo assess 

A Vancouver appeal court will hand down a decision Monday affecting the tax rate of approximately 1,000 condo-hotel units in Whistler. The decision will be worth millions of dollars to the municipality, the provincial government and the condo owners. The appeal, the latest in a series stretching back several years, is over condo-hotel units being assessed at a business rate and some as residential units. Currently, condo-hotel units in buildings with more than 20 units are assessed the Class 6 business rate if 85 per cent of the units are controlled by one party — such as a property management firm — and the units are rented for periods of less than seven days for at least 50 per cent of the year. If less than 85 per cent of the units are controlled by one party the units are assessed at the residential Class 1 rate. The difference is about $1,500 for a unit in the Tantalus Lodge. Such units are assessed approximately $1,000 if classed as a residential, but about $2,500 if classed as a business. Calvin Smyth of the British Columbia Assessment Authority says the intention is to tax those units which are most hotel-like. But condo-owner Jim Allard says its unfair to tax similar units at different rates. He sites the Glacier Lodge as an example. At one point 90 of the 99 units were managed by Powder Resort Properties and assessed at the Class 6 level. Since then 15 units have been taken out of the Powder pool and all the units are now considered Class 1 because less than 85 per cent are controlled by one party. Among the condo-hotels in Whistler that will be affected by the ruling are the Delta, the Tantalus, the Listel, Whistler Village Inns, the Glacier Lodge and the Blackcomb Lodge. Smyth says the largest group of condo-hotels affected by the appeal are in Whistler, although there are a few in the Lower Mainland, Victoria, Parksville and the Okanagan.

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