Posted June 11, 2013
Remember last fall when the council worked to keep the property tax increase at three per cent or less? Remember when the staff proposed an 8.5 percent property tax increase?
As council deliberations sought to keep the increase in that range, Coun. Gloria Kovach came up with a proposal to keep the increase below three per cent. She suggested the staff cut $500,000 in their budgets that would lower the increase to 2.96 per cent. That would be the smallest increase in seven years.
Everyone went home that night feeling good about themselves after approving the Kovach proposal.
Well, it hasn’t turned out that way. Checking with the finance department the real increase is now 3.74 per cent. In addition Impac Corporation, the provincial assessment concern, will increase property assessments over the next four years. The increases must be phased equally each year starting this year.
Here’s an example. Suppose your property is currently assessed at $300,000. Impac would reassess the property and determine the market value has gone up 15 percent since former Premier Dalton McGuinty stopped property re-assessments five years ago. That means your home has a current market value of $345,000. Over the next four years your assessment will increase by $6,000 a year.
This affects the tax base of the city as the increases in assessments provides more property tax revenue.
This process started with the 2013 tax year.
There is nothing the city can do about these increases as it is provincially mandated and affects every property in the province.
What is bothersome is why a .78 percent increase in property taxes is appearing in tax bills? Was this assessment increase not accounted for when the budget process was underway?
If it was considered, why was the approved property tax rate increased by some 26 per cent?