Monday, July 9, 2012

Pelham's 2012 Residential Property Taxes

If you pay your property taxes by installments, you will know that your third installment of your 2012 property tax bill came due late last month. Because of that deadline, a number of people asked me questions that I hope to answer over my next few columns.

First, you may recall that I wrote about the 2012 property tax change in February just after Council approved the Town’s operating budget. At that time I wrote "...the average residential property value for 2012 is expected to be $284,566. If MPAC assessed your home and property at that value, you will pay an additional $31 or a total of approximately $1,289 on the Pelham portion of your property tax bill."

I am pleased to let you know that those values still hold true. However, you may recall that that "Pelham portion" of your tax bill accounts for only 34% of your total residential property tax bill.

The Niagara Region accounts for 49% of the property taxes you pay in Pelham, while the Provincial educational portion is the remaining 17%. For the average residential property, the Regional portion of your tax bill increased by 3.3% -- or $59 for a total of approximately $1,850 -- and the Education portion barely changed -- increasing $0.57 for a total of approximately $629.

When you combine these amounts, the average residential property tax bill increased by $91 (or 2.48%) for a total of $3,768.

For clarity, that is for an average residential property assessed at $284,566 and that increased in value by 4.6%. This 4.6% was the average residential assessment increase from 2011 to 2012.

But, what if you residential assessment increased more than the average? Or, what if the assessed value increased less than the average?

If your assessed value increases more than the average you will pay more than average. For example, if the assessed value of your home increased by 7% from 2011 to 2012, that’s higher than the 4.6% average, and you would pay more property tax than the average increase.

By the same token, if your assessed value increases less than the average -- say by only 3% -- you will pay less tax than the average increase, but likely more than you paid in 2011.

I hope that helps explain why the specific experience of property owners varies from the average. I will write further about changes to property taxes over the next few weeks.