City considers Canoe leases

Council wants more information before cutting Canoe lease lot owners a break on their rent.

Council wants more information before cutting Canoe lease lot owners a break on their rent.

The city has received a request from a Canoe beach lot lessee for a fee reduction. The request comes following an appeal on the assessed value of the tenant’s lot, that resulted in a decreased assessment value for 2010.

District administrator Carl Bannister said staff aren’t recommending any changes, explaining the fee reflects what the city thinks is  fair market value.

“The assessed value was just a tool to make it easy to do that calculation,” explained Bannister, noting that the final value was also determined by appraisal work. Specifically, the lease levied and collected for 2010 was based on the original 2010 assessment, times three per cent. For each year after, to 2013, an additional five per cent is added to the 2010 fee.

Staff noted that the result of the successful assessment appeal process applies to all 28 of the Canoe lease lots.

Coun. Alan Harrison said he was wrestling with two positions, that of staff and that of the lessee.

“But all of us know, with our houses, if we appeal the assessment and the assessment goes down, we pay less,” said Harrison. “So if we have 30 Canoe lease lot people out there saying that, what my mind is saying, the right thing to do, despite the decrease in revenue for the city, is to decrease their rent amount. But I want to see the information written first…”

Coun. Chad Eliason supported Harrison’s request for staff to come back with a report on how adjusting the rental agreement would financially impact the city, but he reiterated the original intent was to get fair market value from the lots for taxpayers.

He added that money from the rentals is going into a reserve to help reclaim the lots, to eventually be included as city beach property. Eliason suggested the city may have to devise a new formula that is more fair and balanced, with “set increases of a certain percentage or a CPI percentage.”