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RMOW still waiting to hear from assessment appeal board


The Resort Municipality of Whistler had hoped to hear some news before the new year on its appeal of the tax classification of four condo hotels but it may have to wait until after February for a decision from the B.C. Assessment Appeal Board.

"The board had indicated they had wanted to make a quick decision," said the RMOW’s acting director of finance," John Nelson. "We had hoped to hear something within two weeks but we understand it could take anywhere from two weeks to two months."

The municipality’s appeal of the tax classification of four Whistler condo-hotel properties was wrapped up within hours at a B.C. Assessment Appeal board hearing Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2000.

Three days had originally been set aside for the hearing.

The RMOW was appealing the B.C. Assessment Authority’s decision to downgrade the tax classification of the Marriott, Alpenglow, Timberline and Cascade Lodge from commercial (Class 6) to residential (Class 1).

Nelson, who was present at the hearing, said the four hotel properties were jointly represented by one lawyer, Barry Gibson.

The municipality also had legal counsel.

The re-classification represents annual tax savings of around $1,500 to $2,000 per unit for the owners but, it also means a shortfall of about $450,000 in tax revenue for the municipality. The municipality has budgeted for that shortfall this year but has not budgeted for any further condo-hotels changing from Class 6 to Class 1.

If the appeal board rules to uphold the residential tax classification, the municipality could, in turn, appeal that decision at the B.C. Supreme Court level.

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