Casino News

Sudbury Downs Involved in a Local Argument

The city of Greater Sudbury is unhappy with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation’s evaluation of the lands that the former Sudbury Downs was located on. That is why the municipality is appealing to the Assessment Review Board, claiming that the lands are worth CA$8.2 million and not CA$2.3 as the MPAC believes.

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation is the provincial body that is responsible for determining the value of a parcel, for the purpose of property taxes. Recently, the entity assessed the former site of Sudbury Down, which is now partially occupied by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment to be worth around CA$2.3, however, the city does not agree with the evaluation.

Huge Gap in Valuation

For January 1 base year, the MPAC assessment for the said property was issued to be $2,309,000, out of which $2,045,900 being commercial property class and $263,100 residential property class. However, the municipality has appealed that the returned evaluation of the lands is too low. The city values the lands to $8,214,000, out of which $4,031,000 commercial property class and $4,183,000 residential property class.

Also, the city has looked into more disclosure of documentation and information from the owner of the property MacRanald Enterprises Inc. However, the owner opposed the appeal and was looking into dismissing the motion on the basis that the matter has been brought up way too late and that there is no exceptional circumstance that would warrant an extension to the deadline in the schedule of events.

The city responded to this claim that this is in fact the third time that it attempts to have the subject appeals dismissed. According to board documents, the city submits the owner’s previous requests to dismiss were rejected by the board on March 4 and March 16. Additionally, the municipality requests the board to make an order for costs against the owner, on the basis that the owner is relitigating its dismissal requests.

The city’s officials have also inquired about more disclosures, such as more information on the rental agreement between MacRanald Enterprises Inc. and Gateway Casinos. And the request was approved. The board has ordered the company to provide all lease information from 2014 to this date, along with bump-ups and/or sub-leases, and lease details for the tenants of the property.

The review board has also ordered the company to disclose all valuations and analyses prepared to arrive at the 2016 current value assessment of the said lands. Additionally, the board has requested the company to disclose all files, documents, reports, studies, or any other info on the determination of the CVA for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 taxation year assessments within a three-week deadline.

Event Centre

Another largely discussed topic in Greater Sudbury is the prolonged construction of a new event centre in the city. There were lengthy discussions about whether the arena should be constructed as a part of the Kingsway District Entertainment or to simply revamp the downtown arena. Patrick Crowe has recently launched an online petition to have the subject as a part of the 2022 municipal elections as a referendum. Over 700 locals have opted for the revamp of the old downtown Sudbury Community Arena.

However, last week Ward 5 councillor of Greater Sudbury, Robert Kirwan has given clarification and the circling online petition and its impact. Mr. Kirwan stated that there is almost no chance of the subject reaching a referendum as the city council has already opted for the KED site, and if the topic was going to a referendum it would have happened years ago.

Source: Keown, Mary “City in battle over value of Sudbury Downs property”, The Sudbury Star, August 2, 2021