Ontario Civil


Assessment arbitrary as licence agreement between parties not reviewed

Applicant held non-exclusive licence from Greater Toronto Airport Authority (“GTAA”) to common areas at airport under which applicant was authorized to install and maintain advertising displays. GTAA controlled all aspects of applicant’s business. Applicant was never assessed as taxable. Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (“MPAC”) unilaterally and retroactively assessed GTAA’s advertising displays to applicant as part of overall assessment of airport. Applicant argued applicant was not tenant of Crown. Assessment was quashed. Applicant was not liable for taxable assessment. Applicant was not occupant or tenant or person in possession. Applicant was service provider for GTAA. GTAA maintained total control over premises all advertising was controlled by GTAA. Applicant paid no rent and GTAA received vast majority of gross revenues from advertising revenue. Applicant paid all of operating expenses out of remaining funds before applicant received any income. GTAA’s business use of premises was paramount and applicant’s use was subordinate. MPAC did not assess indoor signs anywhere else and MPAC’s actions were discriminatory, unfair and unequal. Assessment was arbitrary on MPAC’s part in that MPAC never reviewed licence agreement between parties before issuing taxation assessment.

Clear Channel Outdoor Co. Canada v. Municipal Property Assessment Corp. (Dec. 10, 2012, Ont. S.C.J., Snowie J., File No. CV-11-5011-00) 224 A.C.W.S. (3d) 18.

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