Catalyst Paper believes that equitable and competitive municipal property taxes are an important part of the broader conditions that will help secure the long-term viability of its British Columbia operations.
2009 marked a turning point on this issue. Uncompetitively high municipal taxes had accounted for about half of Catalyst’s losses over the preceding five years, yet extensive analysis and dialogue with governments had failed to result in meaningful relief.
With especially difficult economic and credit conditions to contend with, Catalyst made property tax payments to each of its mill communities that more closely approximated the actual cost of municipal services provided, and started legal actions aimed at bringing about a resolution of this long-standing issue.
Since then, Catalyst has continued to look for resolutions through both legal and non-legal means. In 2010, we announced an innovative agreement-in-principle with the City of Powell River. It provides a basis for reducing Catalyst taxes to the competitive level sought, while cost effectively meeting city infrastructure needs.
Overall, however, our BC mills continue to face municipal and provincial property tax assessments in British Columbia that are far higher than in other jurisdictions, and in 2011 totaled $18.1 million.
The documents below summarize some key outreach to communities and governments on this issue, and demonstrate the scope of the research in support of a taxation model based on consumption of services. Watch our Media Room for further developments.