Cable Bay/Oceanview/Oceanside Relying Once Again on the Kindness of Nanaimo Taxpayers

Ron Bolin: Sept. 17, 2012

The Saturday (Sept. 15) edition of the Nanaimo News Bulletin published the City of Nanaimo Notice of Tax Sale and the properties that will be up for sale at 10 am on Monday, Sept. 24, in “the room designated as the Council Chambers”.  (I assume that this means the Shaw Auditorium, but if you want to be there, check with the City as I am unclear why a definite location was not given.)

Among the 89 properties listed for sale is 960 Phoenix Way, yet another of the Cable Bay, etc. properties to come onto the block for failure to pay taxes.  This means that taxes on this property have not been paid for the last three years and that there will be yet another year for the owner to redeem the property, i.e. by this time next year.  The property is currently assessed at $808,000 dollars.

It may be remembered that the owner(s) of this property had two of the parcels of this same undeveloped development up at the tax sale last year.  I have been informed that these two parcels were redeemed before this year’s deadline.  I have also been informed that the appeal made by the developer against the enforcement of the Managed Forest Land exit fee ($312,957.20) associated with the upgrading of the property to “Resort” status has been lost and the fee has apparently been paid.  See Private Managed Forest Land Act Decision – 2012:

The minimum sale price for tax sale properties included the taxes, some penalties, and interest, but it is difficult to understand why an owner would choose a tax sale over the regular payment of the taxes unless there is financial gain, in which case those who do pay their taxes regularly are providing a subsidy to those who do not.  Last year the City, precluding competitive bidding, acquired the two Cable Bay properties at the minimum sale price.

While I have sympathy for widows, orphans and those having difficulty keeping their homes in these time of rising taxes and falling incomes, I heartily protest the use of our procedures to protect the interests of land speculators.  When our Council virtually extinguished our Urban Containment Boundary and subsequently raised the development status of this property to a “resort” category, it, in effect, raised the speculative value of this property by tens of millions of dollars.  See:

       http://www2.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/story.html?id=b883fc8f-866a-4350-aec8-6642fc4667aa&k=13453

As thanks from the developer, nonpayment of taxes is what we got, and are continuing to get, in return.  We should at least be businesslike in our approach this year and put in a substantial bid for the property.  In this case we would at least earn interest on the difference between that bid and the minimum upset at no cost to us.  And we know we are going to be in for a cost and tax kicking given our new City positions, water woes and the upcoming disclosure of our asset management problems.  We need to seek all the financial help we can get wherever we can get it.

The following section is from the City of Nanaimo web site and deals with the subject of Tax Sales.  You might wish to see the process in action.

ANNUAL PROPERTY TAX SALE

Any property with taxes unpaid at the end of three years, will be sold at the City’s annual tax sale. The City is obliged to hold the annual tax sale each year on the last Monday of September (or if this is a holiday, on the next Monday which is not a holiday). It is held at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall located at 455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo BC V9R 5J6.

The list of properties that may be available for sale will be published in the local newspapers on two separate dates, the last publication being not less than 3 days, or more than 10 days, before the date of the tax sale. A final list of the properties still available for sale will be distributed at the time of the tax sale.

The sale is a public auction with the successful bid being the highest bid above the upset price. The upset price is the total of all outstanding taxes plus penalties, interest and costs. We require payment by certified cheque at the time of sale before 3:00 p.m. of the day of the sale. If these are not produced, the tax sale is re-opened and the property is sold again.

The owner of the property, or any registered charge holder, will be notified of the sale of the property for taxes. They have a period of 12 months to redeem the property by paying the outstanding taxes. Only at the end of the redemption period, if the property has not been redeemed, will title pass to the successful bidder. If the property is redeemed, all of the amounts paid to the City by the successful bidder will be returned with interest at the rate prescribed under Section 11(3) of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act.

The successful bidder has only limited legal rights to the property during the redemption period. The registered owner continues to have use and enjoyment of the property.

The successful purchaser of tax sale property that results in transfer of title at the end of the redemption period will be required to pay any property purchase taxes and goods and services taxes which may apply to the sale. The effect of the tax sale is to also act as a quit claim in favour of the purchaser of all mortgages registered against the property.

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