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Recent Cases Jul 26, 2021

Victory in a Municipal Tax Dispute

Can a City, through a municipal by-law, impose a special tax of approximately $859,933.92 on the owner of a lot already served and located in front of an existing public street to reimburse a large part of the costs related to the construction of a neighbouring street?

It is in the context of the development of a real estate project, in particular in order to solve a traffic problem that the City had planned the construction of a new street and by the same token the imposition of a special tax for the adjacent properties, including the one of our client.

Our client argued, among other things, that the by-law adopted by the city decreeing the construction of the street was abusive because it imposed a special sector tax to finance the costs of the construction of the street and the facilities from which our client derived no benefit since its building was already accessible from a public street. The City claimed there were opportunities for redevelopment of the lot with the construction of the new street. The Court sustained this argument and declared the relevant section of the by-law inapplicable, invalid and inoperative concerning our client and ordered the reimbursement of the amounts already paid on the special tax.

BCF is proud to have won this municipal tax dispute by avoiding the special tax for our client to pay for an infrastructure from which it received no benefit, with a team composed of Isabelle Landry and Audrey-Anne Béland.

To consult the judgment, click here.

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