June 16, 2014 10:25 am

Halifax, feds head to dispute panel over value of Citadel Hill

A decades-long dispute between Halifax and the federal government over the value of Citadel Hill is headed to a dispute panel.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

HALIFAX – A decades-long dispute between Halifax and the federal government over the value of Citadel Hill heads to a dispute panel Monday.

The two sides will go before the federal panel in Halifax to help determine how much Ottawa owes the city in back taxes for the national historic site.

The amount has yet to be settled, two years after Canada’s top court ruled in favour of Halifax and nearly 20 years after the disagreement began.

Ottawa had argued the roughly 16 hectares of land was only worth $10 because it has no commercial value.

But the Supreme Court ruled in June 2012 that the federal government cannot set payments based on its own property value assessments that are far lower than provincial assessments.

Dalhousie University law professor Geoffrey Loomer says a lot of time and money could be saved by streamlining the process and developing a formula to determine property value.

A lawyer for Halifax said she will present two property assessments that range from $51 million to $68 million.

The federal government declined to comment on the hearing, which is closed to the public.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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