Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Reviewing Property Taxes

At our March 21 Regional Council meeting, we approved the 2013 Property Tax Rates and Tax Ratios. These rates and ratios apply to all property tax classes across the Region, including in Pelham.

What does it mean for Pelham?

Reassessment Year:
As I wrote about last November, this is a “reassessment” year. That means that MPAC – the Provincial body called the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation – has re-evaluated and assessed all properties in the Province as of January 1, 2012. We will use that new assessment value for your property when we calculate your property taxes.

Property Tax Calculation:
The amount of property tax you pay to the Town of Pelham, to the Region, and to the Province (for Education) is not only based on the Market Value Assessment of your property; we multiply your assessment by each of the tax rates.

Despite your tax rate being set by each entity for their services, the Town collects the taxes and distributes it appropriately.

2007 to 2013:
In February, I wrote that “…the net effect on the tax levy will be $265,955 or an increase of 2.92% on the Town of Pelham portion of your 2013 property tax bill.” From following the budget processes from other Niagara Towns and Cities, we anticipate that Pelham’s increase will again be the second lowest this year.

But, what about over a longer period of time?  Let’s compare this term of Council so far with the last term of Council, and with inflation.

The average increase of property taxes on your combined property tax bill for the last three years was 1.7%; for the previous four years – from 2007 to 2010 – it was 1.8%.

If you blend the entire seven years, the average is 1.72% and the total increase in your property taxes was 12.7% for that seven year period (from 2007 to 2013).

How do we measure whether that is “good” or not? One important comparator would be inflation. Inflation for that same entire seven-year period was 13.6% or an average of 1.84% per year.

I hope you too are pleased that our tax increases have been nearly a full percentage point below inflation for that period. Please see the chart for more information.

Pelham Council continues to direct staff to ensure that we ensure minimal impact on you and other property tax-payers without decreasing the current level and quality of services.