Hamilton City Hall Credit: Joey Coleman

“City of Hamilton  No one appeared.”

The City of Hamilton failed to attend an Assessment Review Board to video conference hearing on May 13, leaving the Board with only the appellant’s evidence.

In the absence of the City showing up to make a case, the Board ruled prime industrial land – that the City is building a new highway to – “permanently unusable” and ordered the tax assessment decreased by 90 percent – costing the City thousands of dollars in tax revenue each year.

The land at 68 Trinity Church Road is part of the Red Hill Business Park South, where the City is spending tens of millions of dollars building new roads and servicing to allow the development of prime industrial lands.

68 Trinity Church Road will have direct access to the Upper Red Hill Valley Parkway extension. With the Upper Red Hill planned for construction, the City of Hamilton passed a by-law in 2010 (10-128) requiring development at 68 Trinity Church Road to have entrance and exit onto the Upper Red Hill Valley Parkway extension.

The owners of 68 Trinity Church Road argued at the Assessment Review Board that the requirement, which prohibits them from using Trinity Church Road for vehicle entry and exit, significantly decreases the value of their lands.

Absent from the hearing, the City forfeited any opportunity to counter the tax appeal. Had the City attended, it would’ve been able to show the Board that work to expand both Twenty Road East & Upper Red Hill Valley Parkway is underway.

A City of Hamilton map showing the planned extension of the Upper Red Hill Valley Parkway and Twenty Road, with the location star for 68 Trinity Road added.

In its ruling, the Board changed the valuation of the property to $680,000, from its previous assessed value of $708,000, and applied a 90 percent “downward adjustment” because the land is deemed “permanently unusable.”

The new land value for taxation purposes is $68,000.

In a statement provided on the afternoon of July 5, the City’s General Manager of Finance and Corporate Services Mike Zegarac wrote:

“Staff recognize the need to participate in appeals; however, due to the volume of appeals, there is a process in which appeals are prioritized. The staff recommended, and Council approved, Criteria for Participation in Appeals framework strikes a balance between resources and potential municipal property tax loss. The City participates in approximately 60-70 assessment appeals per year.”

“City staff applied the Criteria for Participation in Appeals framework, and knowing that MPAC would be participating in defending their assessment, made the decision not to participate.”

MPAC was mostly successful in its portion of the hearing.

The planned road expansion issue is outside MPAC’s purview, and could only be argued by the City of Hamilton.

[The Assessment Review Board posted ten rulings for the City of Hamilton in 2023 and 19 in 2022. TPR will follow up with the ARB to ask about its calendar on July 8.]

Production Details
v. 1.0.0
Published: July 5, 2024
Last updated: July 5, 2024
Author: Joey Coleman
Update Record
v. 1.0.0 original version, 12:00 noon (EDT)
v. 1.1.0 added City of Hamilton comment, following receipt of City response. 18:30 EDT

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  1. Stop all road and service construction to these lands now, whoever holds this file at City Hall should be fired, indeed the whole department should be eliminated.
    Just what are these Bozos being paid for?

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