Loss of tax revenue from empty office complex frustrates Vaudreuil-Dorion officials

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion officials are frustrated by the loss of commercial tax revenue because a 12-storey office complex and two adjacent buildings continue to sit empty at 1000 St. Charles Avenue just north of Highway 40.

The loss of commercial tax revenue due to a vacant 12-storey office building continues to stymie Vaudreuil-Dorion officials who have been hampered in their efforts to have a proper valuation done to determine the true value of the structure, said Mayor Guy Pilon during the Monday evening council meeting, February 20.

The issue surfaced during the first question period when resident André Crevier told council he was pleased with the minimal property tax increase he received for his residence, but said he was miffed that the valuation of his house at just over $140,000 is slightly more than current $137,000 valuation for the office structure and two other buildings located at 1000 St. Charles Avenue.

Attempts by the city to get a proper valuation done for the structures have been impossible because no firm in the province is allowed to conduct one due to stringent provincial government regulations, said Pilon. The complex formerly known Future Electronics includes an adjacent five-storey bunker/data centre and a warehouse that have sat empty for at least five years.

“We’ve been trying year after year after year to contest the current valuation. We tried with our specialists and professionals to hire a firm to determine the value of the structure but there is not one evaluator who will do an assessment because there isn’t a comparable building in Vaudreuil-Dorion to do a proper valuation,” Pilon told Your Local Journal.

Frustrated officials

“The building itself is worth nothing officially,” said Pilon. “The value of the building is based on occupancy but it’s empty. For the past five years we’ve been trying to get a professional to do a proper evaluation but it’s impossible. It’s because of the way the regulations are made. We are very frustrated about it, but it’s the law.”

Pilon said at least 10 different projects have been proposed over the past few years to revitalize the complex but nothing materialized. While the city does generate revenue from the land which is currently valued at about $8 million, the city has lost substantial revenue over the years because all three buildings sit empty. Pilon estimates that if the buildings were properly evaluated, the total valuation including the land could total $30 million.

“It affects us because we have less revenue and it also affects us for the number of jobs that are not available,” said Pilon, who added that all the three facilities combined could probably host up to 1000 potential employees.

Culture 21 South Korea

Council announced it will be participating in the upcoming Culture 21 summit in Juju, South Korea in May through the auspices of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) initiative. The invitation is based on the city winning an award and 25,000 Euros last fall for its innovative Je Suis... cultural program that was selected by a panel of five international judges as a model for other cities worldwide to emulate.

“As a result of the prize, we’re obliged to attend to continue promoting our program,” said Pilon. “We have become recognized as the best around the world because of this project and our cultural vision will continue to grow over time.”

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