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$150M at stake in office towers ruling

A lawyer for some of Toronto’s biggest office towers says he’s advisinghis clients to appeal a court ruling that would deny the buildingsabout $150 million in property tax refunds.

A lawyer for some of Toronto’s biggest office towers says he’s advising his clients to appeal a court ruling that would deny the buildings about $150 million in property tax refunds.

A dozen of the downtown towers housing the headquarters of Canada’s big banks plus the head offices of many big corporations and professional firms had won a ruling last year that would have slashed their tax bill substantially.

But a three-judge panel of Ontario Divisional Court has struck down the ruling by the Assessment Review Board, calling it “unreasonable, approaching the absurd.”

The judges have said the issue, which consumed more than 60 days of hearings before a two-member panel of the board, should be returned to the review board, and argued in front of a different panel.
“We’re obviously disappointed,” said Richard Poole, lawyer for several of the tower owners.

Poole said he is suggesting that his clients seek leave to appeal at the Ontario Court of Appeal.

 
 
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