Monday, April 14, 2014

Fiscally Responsible with Pelham’s Property Taxes

At our March 20 Regional Council meeting, we approved the 2014 Property Tax Rates and Tax Ratios. These rates and ratios apply to all property tax classes across the Region.

What does it mean for Pelham?

Reassessment Year:
As I wrote about last spring, 2013 was a “reassessment” year. That meant that the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation – the Provincial body that sets a value your home and property – re-evaluated and assessed all properties in the Province as of January 1, 2012. While this amount will be used as the value of your home in 2016, MPAC phases in any assessment increases evenly over a four-year period. The Town uses that changing assessment value when we calculate your property taxes each year.

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 and add them up for your total bill.

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

2011 to 2014:
When Town Council approved our 2014 Operating Budget in February, we anticipated that the Pelham portion of your property tax bill would increase by 1.5%. Now that the Region has set rates, we know that the combined property tax increase for an average property in Pelham will be 0.9%. We anticipate being the lowest or second lowest again this year.

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

The average increase of property taxes on your combined residential property tax bill for the last four years was 1.5% (total increase 6.0%); for the previous four years – from 2007 to 2010 – it was 1.8% (total increase 7.3%).

Lower than Inflation:
How do we measure whether that is “good” or not? Another important comparator would be inflation. Inflation for the last four-year period was 7.35% or an average of 1.79% per year.

I hope you too are pleased that our residential tax increases have been 1.35% below inflation for the last four years. Please see the chart for more information.

Pelham Council and I continue to direct staff to ensure that we only minimally impact you and other property tax-payers while we increase the level and quality of services to the Town.