Tim Hortons founder spent up to $10M a year subsidizing his luxury Nova Scotia resort


How do you worth a property when there is no such thing as a different fairly prefer it?

That is on the coronary heart of a dispute between the Fox Harb’r Resort on the Northumberland Strait and Nova Scotia tax assessors.

The house owners say a $19.9-million evaluation used for property tax functions is much too excessive given the resort’s enormous losses, which run into the hundreds of thousands each year.

“The evaluation doesn’t correctly mirror the market worth as of the prescribed date,” Fox Harb’r Development Ltd. stated in its newest attraction, filed this week with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

The resort is just not glad with a discount in its 2020 evaluation delivered by the Nova Scotia Assessment Appeal Tribunal final month.

The tribunal knocked the valuation down from $21 million to $19.9 million, however nonetheless properly above the $5.7 million Fox Harb’r Development stated it was price.

Fox Harb’r a byword for luxury

The 401-hectare gated resort has develop into a byword for luxury in Nova Scotia since opening in 2000.

The beautiful facility options a championship golf course, marina, non-public jet runway and hangar, a winery, stables and pheasant reserve.

Ron Joyce, the billionaire co-founder of the Tim Hortons chain, developed the luxury resort. Joyce died in 2019. (The Canadian Press)

Ron Joyce, the billionaire co-founder of the Tim Hortons espresso and fast-food chain, developed the resort close to his hometown of Tatamagouche.

Records within the tax dispute reveal that till his loss of life in 2019, Joyce underwrote operation losses, which peaked at $8 million to $10 million yearly.

Managers for his heirs pared losses down to $1.5 million to $2 million a year, in accordance to proof filed within the attraction.

To break even, they’re constructing new properties and planning a 48-unit improvement.

A group asset, not an funding

Fox Harb’r says Joyce constructed the resort as a legacy and group asset and never as an funding.

Jeff Cuzner, a business property tax director with the actual property providers agency CBRE, filed a report on behalf of the Fox Harb’r attraction arguing no potential purchaser would “ever think about reproducing the topic as is given its location and monetary efficiency.”

Fox Harb’r says Ron Joyce constructed the resort as a legacy and group asset and never as an funding. (CBC)

“The location of the topic is inferior…. Fox Harb’r is positioned in a distant space with no inhabitants centre or facilities,” Cuzner wrote.

The house owners argued that as a result of the resort has by no means generated a revenue and depends on annual proprietor subsidies to function, “its worth can not probably be estimated precisely by its earnings.”

They stated a fairer estimate needs to be primarily based on the sale worth of eight different golf properties with lodging in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Fox Harb’r stated probably the most comparable properties have been Glen Arbour in Halifax, which was valued at $91,705 per gap, and Crowbush in Prince Edward Island at $158,000 per gap. Using that metric Fox Harb’r golf programs and its facilities are price $125,000 per gap or $3.375 million. It valued the Founder’s Lodge at $1.6 million.

Fox Harb’r ‘unmatched’ in N.S.

The director of evaluation for the Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) dismissed the method.

The Crown company, which units property assessments in Nova Scotia, stated no different golf property compares with Fox Harb’r.

“In addition to having lodging unmatched by every other golf facility within the province, Fox Harb’r contains quite a few facilities that not one of the different properties can provide,” PVSC lawyer Robert Andrews stated within the tribunal attraction.

Fox Harb’r has a championship golf course. (CBC)

It assessed the resort as one entity however used completely different strategies — lodging have been assessed by earnings, whereas golf course prices have been assessed by price, and lodge and actual property heaps have been assessed by direct comparability.

In its attraction to the utility and assessment board, Fox Harb’r stated the “values positioned on all elements of the evaluation are too excessive and inconsistent with each market worth and the provisions of the Assessment Act.”

“The evaluation was improperly weighted to an income-approach and didn’t think about a direct comparability valuation which might be a related foundation on which to attain the correct worth. The evaluation relied upon the premise that the property was distinctive and permit this extra weight than the precise market worth foundation on which it ought to have been primarily based upon,” Fox Harb’r lawyer Michael L Ryan stated within the attraction filed with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, posted Nov. 1.

Important to Cumberland County

Property Valuation Services Corporation declined remark, saying it’ll defend the evaluation earlier than regulators.

Fox Harb’r didn’t reply to a request for remark.

In a September 2022 Insight podcast interview with Huddle, a Maritime enterprise publication, Fox Harb’r president Kevin Toth declined to talk about the quantity of taxes paid to the native municipality saying “we’re in a little little bit of a dispute with them proper now.”

Fox Harb’r has a non-public jet runway and hangar. (CBC)

He stated the resort spends $7 million yearly on items and providers in Nova Scotia and has invested over $125 million in growing the resort. It operates its personal water and sewer system and maintains roads on the property.

Cumberland County Mayor Murray Scott stated the resort attracts individuals from world wide to the world “for numerous causes, some personal property, some come from providers, others come for {the golfing} a part of it.”

“Fox Harb’r is a huge a part of Cumberland County when it comes to assessed worth of that property, when it comes to what it means for taxes for the municipality, no query,” he stated. “It is essential to Cumberland County.”


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