Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A PILT primer from the Port

As we mentioned on Monday, Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority recently made a letter to the editor submission to the weekly newspaper, seeking to outline some background on taxation, PILT concerns and involvement in the community.

However, that's not the only avenue they have taken to deliver information to Prince Rupert residents.

Perhaps aware that not every resident of the region scours the editorial pages of the weekly paper, the Port has provided a larger synopsis of last weeks letter from Port President and CEO Don Krusel.

The Port took to their twitter feed on Tuesday to highlight the expanded review of taxation issues in Prince Rupert, directing North coast residents to their webpage.

With more space to work with on their own website, the Prince Rupert Port Authority has outlined a number of points to help clarify the information flow when it comes to discussion of the Port's contribution to the financial requirements for the city and region.

Not surprisingly considering the amount of attention that Prince Rupert City Council has focused on the PILT aspect of those discussions, the Port's website presentation features a fair amount of background on that topic.

Including a review of what PILT is, how the process applies to the Port and how the  process is determined.

Among the key point on the nature of ongoing conversations between the Port and City, the Port offered up this review of the current situation:

Are the City of Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert Port Authority disputing PILT valuations? 

Yes. PRPA and the City of Prince Rupert have engaged in the dispute advisory panel process, and the panel has provided advice to PRPA as a result of that process. In effect, PRPA has accepted the panel’s advice that the original commercial appraisals relied upon by the PRPA were deficient. PRPA is seeking a second opinion on PILT valuations for the relevant vacant federal lands. 

Currently, the PRPA and the City are in ongoing discussions regarding the appropriate PILT valuations and payments. The conclusion of that review will ensure that vacant federal land is appraised appropriately, and that the municipality receives an equitable PILT payment. 

In the interim, PRPA has advanced $4.2 million to the City of Prince Rupert as recognition that the values of previous appraisals were likely lower than they should have been. The advanced payment is a good faith gesture to ensure that the time required resolving this issue does not cause the City and its taxpayers undue financial stress.

For those looking for a bit more background on the topic, the full review can be found from the Prince Rupert Port Authority website.

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