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Catalyst settles tax battle with one city, escalates court action to Supreme Court


June 1, 2010
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Catalyst Paper will seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, following dismissal of its appeal concerning the North Cowichan 2009 tax bylaw by the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. In its April 22nd decision, the Appeal Court…

Catalyst Paper will seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, following dismissal of its appeal concerning the North Cowichan 2009 tax bylaw by the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. In its April 22nd decision, the Appeal Court declined to strike down the tax bylaw while calling the “extreme imbalance” perpetuated by the District of North Cowichan a political problem requiring a policy decision by elected officials.

In the meantime, Catalyst Paper and the City of Powell River have inked an agreement in principle to achieve the twin objectives of reducing the Class 4 property tax rate paid by the company’s Powell River mill while assisting the city in reducing significantly its capital expenditures for future municipal service infrastructure.

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The deal will see Catalyst’s annual property taxes capped at $2.25 million, and Catalyst providing waste treatment services for the municipality.

The agreement follows months of disputes between Catalyst Paper and the B.C. municipalities in which it operates. Catalyst withheld its municipal taxes in 2009, and challenged the property tax rates of four municipalities in court. The B.C. Supreme Court ruled in all four cases in favour of the cities. Port Alberni later launched legal action against Catalyst to collect the unpaid taxes plus interest.


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