News

MPAC assessment changes concern Municipality

Published: October 26, 2016

BY JENNIFER PARSONS

Municipal officials continue to review the impact new Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) assessment policies will have on area ratepayers.

Reviewing correspondence from the MPAC’s advanced disclosure process at the Regular Council Meeting on Oct. 17 leaders were told an update on changes to province-wide assessments on large and special purpose properties could cost the ratepayers over $600,000.

MPAC assessment guidelines are reviewed every four years and come into effect on Nov. 28. Municipal officials say the latest correspondence indicates the economical obsolesce percentage, which was at 50 per cent early on in the process has changed to 30 per cent.

“On the surface we thought it would be a good thing, however with some of the other changes that MPAC is holding right now it makes things worse,” updated Chief Administrative Officer Mark Vermette responding to an email received at the beginning of October.

“In fact with the original communication and with the 50 per cent obsolesce…our loss and assessment dollars has gotten worse by $1.4 million.”

Putting the figure in perspective, Treasurer Brian McQuarrie noted that based on the information provided for two industrial properties in town assessment dollars could be reduced by over $19 million for 2016-17.

“The Municipality still needs those same dollars to operate and we have got to do some really hard looking to see how we can mitigate this situation without a 10.84 per cent rate increase onto the residential ratepayers.”

Mayor Phil Vinet added to the conversation noting the assessments are for a four year period and that the Municipality could see further reductions if companies choose to appeal their assessments.

“That doesn’t prevent Goldcorp in this case from appealing down the road. Goldcorp is only one mining company in our mining company in our jurisdiction. Now we are getting kicked in the shins where we could be getting kicked elsewhere,” he told those gathered adding that he hoped common ground could be found when the two sides met on Oct. 19.

“We hope that they have some common safe in their court that matches the common sense of the ratepayer when it comes to providing fair and equitable taxation rates.”

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