The British Columbia Expropriation Compensation Board recently conducted another interim review of costs under the Expropriation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 125. In Topping v. British Columbia (Minister of Transportation and Highways),  EXLAW 330, the Board was required to consider three tariff cost claims arising from the full taking of a parcel of land containing the former owners? residence.?The decision explores a number of tariff cost issues not previously considered in the Board?s only other tariff cost review to date: Yue v. Surrey (City),  EXLAW 327. Topping was released on October 20, 2000. Manjeet Chana appeared on behalf of the owners; the expropriating authority was represented by Fran Crowhurst.
The issues considered by the Board included whether the claimed costs had been incurred by the owners, the applicable scale, when tariff items should be claimed, the number of units available for items where a range is available, disbursements for fax and photocopy charges and entitlement to GST.
This case is one of many which was already underway at the time when the tariff came into effect in June 1999. As a result, the owners? initial costs were governed by the previous ?actual reasonable" costs standard. In fact, an "actual reasonable" cost claim for work performed in 1998 up to the point at which a section 3 statutory agreement was signed was considered separately by the Board during this review.? For those services, the Board awarded $4,600 in fees plus disbursements and taxes.? By way of comparison, if these services had been provided one year later after the tariff was in effect, the Toppings would have recovered only three units having a value of $300 at Scale 1.
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