Terrace Bay mayor resigns over mill assessment

The mayor of Terrace Bay has resigned, citing what he calls 'irreconcilable differences' with councillors over a potential reassessment of the town's pulp mill.

Michael King says review of pulp mill's tax rate will lead to higher taxes for residents

AV Terrace Bay, which owns the mill, has applied to the Assessment Review Board for a review of its municipal tax rate. (Martine Laberge/CBC)

The mayor of Terrace Bay has resigned, citing what he calls "irreconcilable differences" with councillors over a potential reassessment of the town's pulp mill.

Michael King made his decision after council opted to negotiate a settlement with AV Terrace Bay, which owns the mill and has filed for reassessment of its municipal tax rate with the province's Assessment Review Board.

Terrace Bay mayor Michael King. (Supplied)

In a statement released last week, the township's four councillors predicted the review will likely result in a drastically reduced tax rate for the mill, since recent applications from similar operations in Dryden and Espanola have led to decreases in excess of 65 per cent.

King said he agrees a reduction is likely, but he would rather see council fight the company's application.

'A real impact' on community

"In the end, we're going to have to put forward an awful lot of changes: higher taxes, higher user fees. There's a real impact onto the community," he said.

"It's just too much money for the community not to see us fighting for them, as opposed to coming back after [negotiations] and saying, 'This was the best deal we could negotiate for you.' "

Attempts by CBC News to contact Terrace Bay's four councillors by phone and email have been unsuccessful.

Their statement reads, in part, "We certainly need to be realists as there is no doubt that the outcome of the negotiations... will result in a significant loss in tax revenue for our community.... We have been reviewing our operations thoroughly and will try to minimize the effect on our residents, but the status quo is not acceptable.

"Changes have to be made that will affect all of us."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.