Has the District of Port Hardy been overtaxing the Providence Place Inn? According to manager George Ewald, the local business believes that is definitely the case.
Ewald met with Port Hardy council at their last council meeting on May 28 to discuss the issue.
A letter from Ewald was also included in the agenda package, where he wrote that the business is “seeking tax debt forgiveness based on what we feel are financial facts that have come to light.”
Ewald listed Providence Place’s tax liability as such:
2009 – 22.476;
2010 – 26.671;
2011 – 25.990;
2012 – 26.673;
2013 – 29.180;
2014 – 28.735;
2015 – 29.324;
2016 – 35.994;
2017 – 21.199;
2018 – 16.155;
10 year average – 24,340. Last two years adjustment average of $18,677 (since having the proper level of taxation being applied).
10 years at $18,677 = $186,770. $243,397 – $186,770 = a 10 year overpayment of $56,627 with interest paid on that at 6.5 percent (not including compound interest) of $3,680 for a total of $60,310 overpayment.
“This does not include all the compound interest that was overpaid due to this overcharge but would probably take an actuarial to figure out,” added Ewald. “We are not asking for an adjustment on that interest but for debt forgiveness on what is easily and clearly discerned as an overcharge of tax.”
Ewald believes that everyone on council “knows we have never had a pub, lounge, beer and wine store or licensed restaurant since purchasing the hotel in 2009. All the while until the last two years we were being assessed by the BC Assessment Authority and the District of Port Hardy as if we did. It was only upon an extreme over assessment of over half a million dollars, based on our fair market value, that this was found out.”
According to Ewald, “This is turn directly affected the taxes levied against us by the District of Port Hardy. That on top of the fact the BC Assessment Authority was not giving us any breaks for the housing we have done and are doing also directly affected by our taxes assessed by the District of Port Hardy.”
He finished his letter by asking for “$60,310.00 to be forgiven by the District of Port Hardy.”
The District of Port Hardy’s Chief Administrative Officer, Allison McCarrick, noted that “council is tentatively booked to discuss the request on June 25 at 6:30 p.m.”
She added that the date and time of the meeting could be subject to change.