Greater Sudbury in property tax battle with owners of Sudbury Downs

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Greater Sudbury has appealed to a provincial tribunal, arguing the land value MPAC has set for Sudbury Downs is far too low.

MPAC – the Municipal Property Assessment Corp. – is the organization that, among other things, determines how much a property is worth for the purpose of local property taxes.

For the years 2016-2021, MPAC assessed Sudbury Downs – home to Gateway Casinos, and the former home of horseracing – at a value of $2.309 million. But the city appealed, arguing the proper value is $8.214 million.

The city is seeking more disclosure from both MPAC and MacRanald Enterprises Inc., which owns the property. The city wants to know, among other things, how much rent Gateway pays.

Gateway is leasing the property, in hopes of eventually moving to a new permanent home in the Kingsway Entertainment District

MacRanald opposed the motion, arguing the city missed the September 2020 deadline when it had to ask for the information. But the tribunal sided with the city.

It also sided with Greater Sudbury on the issue of rental and lease information, saying it is relevant to the case.

"The disclosure schedule identifies certain rental information as relevant to the income approach to valuation, including leases or lease summaries for the five years ending and concluding with the valuation date; copies of tenant inducements; rent rolls for four years preceding the base year; and particulars relating to expense ratios," the transcript from the tribunal said.

"Accordingly, although the (statement of issues) is not explicit, the board is satisfied based on the disclosure schedule and the evidence on this motion that the information sought as part of Disclosure Request No. 1 is relevant to the city’s valuation of the subject property."

In all, the city made 11 requests for disclosure, arguing it needed the information to understand how MPAC came up with the property value estimate for the land.

The tribunal rejected MacRanald's request to dismiss the motion, granting several of the city's disclosure requests.

Read the full transcript here.