North Saanich mayor wants to see if airport should pay more taxes

CHEK

North Saanich Mayor Peter Jones says the baggage between Victoria International Airport (YYJ) and the District of North Saanich has been piling up for many years.

Jones wants to audit a property assessment for the airport to see if they’re actually paying enough in taxes.

“The district has been having problems for years with the airport talking to us and us talking to the airport,” he said. “And talking is a two-way street.”

Jones told CHEK News that BC Assessment generally goes by what’s called “highest best use,” not “current use.”

He added that even if the current use is farm class, if the airport develops more of its land for commercial use it would make a land value difference of $1 million an acre.

In 2023, the municipality received more than $985,000 in taxes from the airport authority.

CHEK News did reach out to the Victoria Airport Authority for comment, but they said it’s too premature to comment on the matter, and they’re hoping to have further discussions with the municipality.

Jones feels like the relationship between YYJ and the district hasn’t been great at times, but he hopes it improves.

“We are hoping that the airport will sit up and take notice and say we need to work with North Saanich because North Saanich wants to know if the airport is paying its fair share of property taxes,” exclaimed Jones.

The mayor and five other councillors voted in favour of a motion to direct staff to file an appeal of the airport’s assessment by the end of January.

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