by Deron Johnston
When people receive their property tax bills from the Municipality of North Grenville, they may not be completely aware of the makeup of that bill. There are three different rates contained in each tax bill, and each rate pertains to a different obligation. There is a lower tier municipal tax rate (North Grenville), an upper-tier municipal tax rate (the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville – UCLG), and the education tax rate, as determined by the Province. Your total annual tax bill is calculated by using all three rates and multiplying them by the value of the property that you own, which is assessed every four years by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. Any increase in value from one assessment to the next is then spread out equally over the following four years.
This year’s North Grenville municipal tax rate was reduced from the 2% increase committed to by the previous council, to a 1.5% increase by the new council. This 1.5% rise means an increase of $8.77 per $100,000 of the assessed value of a residential property and was one of the smallest increases when compared to other municipalities in Leeds and Grenville.
With this in mind, for those who were watching the May 7 Committee of the Whole meeting, either in person or through the municipal website, they may have been somewhat shocked to hear that their combined overall tax rate for 2019 had actually gone down from 2018 by 0.02%. This is mostly due to the fact that the Education tax rate was lowered 5.29%, which translates to a savings of $9.00 per $100,000 of assessed value, and the UCLG tax rate was frozen, with no increase. Overall, this is a decrease of approximately $0.23 per $100,000 of assessed value.
The breakdown of your tax bill is as follows: North Grenville represents 52.73% (or $593.00 per $100,000 of assessed value) of your tax bill, the UCLG portion represents approximately 33% (or $370.00) of your tax bill, and the Education portion of your bill represents 14.3% (or $161.00). The total amount of residential taxes, including the North Grenville rate, Education rate and the UCLG rate amounts to a total of $1,125.00 per $100,000 of assessed value. This means that, if your property is value at $400,000, your annual property tax bill would be $4,500.64.
Next year, 2020, will be another MPAC assessment year. For a fast-growing municipality such as North Grenville, there’s a high probability that property values will rise. This could mean some significant property assessment increases for some residents of North Grenville. The good news is that, according to a graphic used by Director of Finance, Marcus Hewitt, North Grenville remains one of the lowest municipal tax rates in the region, with places like Smiths Falls (over $1,700 per $100,000 of assessed value), Brockville (over $1,500), Perth (over $1,300), Clarence-Rockland (over $1,300) and Arnprior (over $1,300) well above North Grenville. Even North Dundas, Carleton Place and Ottawa are all higher as well. So, the next time that you open your property tax bill and cringe, just remember: compared to other places, your taxes really aren’t as high as you may think.