HALIFAX – A federal panel has valued Halifax’s Citadel Hill at 41.2 million dollars in a decades-long dispute between the city and the federal government — about 37.6 million dollars more than what Ottawa argued the national historic site was worth.
The two sides went before the panel in Halifax last summer to help determine how much Ottawa owes the city in back taxes for Citadel Hill.
The amount has yet to be settled, about two and a half years after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Halifax and more than 20 years after the disagreement began.
The panel’s decision says based on evidence presented by appraisers and city planners from both sides, it has determined that the land’s market value is about 41.2 million dollars for the 2013 assessment year.
The decision says an appraiser for Ottawa set its worth at about 12.1 million dollars.
But the federal Public Works Department argued it should be valued at a 70 per cent discount because of the national historic site’s land restrictions, bringing its value down to about 3.6 million dollars.
The panel’s recommendation has been sent to Public Works Minister Diane Finley, who will make the final decision.
Mayor Mike Savage says since the federal government appointed the panel, Finley should accept their recommendation.
“We’re not being belligerent about it. We’re not standing on the rooftops and begging for fairness. We think that the next step is clear, which is that we should all follow the findings of the panel,” Savage said.