Monday, April 6, 2015

Pelham’s 2015 Residential Taxes to Increase by 0.8%

As I wrote about last week, at our March 26 Regional Council meeting, we approved the 2015 Property Tax Rates and Tax Ratios. These rates and ratios apply to all property tax classes across all Cities, Towns, and Townships throughout Region.

What does it mean for Pelham?

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.

You may recall that 2013 was a “reassessment” year. That means that the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) – 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.

When Town Council approved our 2015 Budget on February 17, we anticipated that the Pelham portion of your property tax bill would increase by 1.9%.

Now that the Region (+1.6%) and the Province (-2.3%) set their rates, we know that the combined property tax increase for an average residential property (valued at $302,815) in Pelham will be 0.8% or approximately $32. We anticipate this increase to be the lowest or second lowest in Niagara Region again this year.

The average increase of property taxes on your combined residential property tax bill for the last five years was 1.3% (total increase 6.9%). This was the “pocket-book” increase – the amount it cost an average residential property owner by adjusting for the average MPAC increase.

How do we measure whether that is “good” or not? Another important comparator would be inflation. Inflation for the last five-year period was 8.5% or an average of 1.6% per year.

I hope you too are pleased that our residential tax increases have been 1.6% below inflation for the last five 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.