Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Area Property Tax Comparison

Many local homeowners and clients have called me in recent weeks to obtain information that will assist them in appealing their recent property assessments. I had a call over this past weekend from a local real estate appraiser working on such a project for a client. 
  In some instances we have seen some recent property assessments that have increased as much as 40% and more.  The good news is, those assessments are still below current market value nonetheless the prospect of a huge tax increase is frightening to most homeowners.
 As per my previous posting, Collingwood property owners were recently treated to a mid-term update from our municipal Council entitled "Half Time News and Updates."  In this newsletter we were informed so-to-speak that Collingwood Council had "kept taxes and user fees low" and "kept taxes and user fees low again" in year one and two respectively.  There was nothing given to substantiate the claims as to Collingwood taxes being kept low so my question to members of Council (as yet unanswered ) was just how low is low?
  The attached graph depicts what the 2012 property taxes would amount to on a residential property with an assessed value of $250,000 in the various municipalities around our region.  To no surprise, the Town of Meaford gets the nod for having the highest residential taxes in the area.  Meaford lacks the commercial tax base that exists in some of our other area municipalities which places the full burden of operating the municipality on the shoulders of residential homeowners.  Collingwood comes in at the number two position with taxes that are 6% to 24% higher than the neighbouring municipalities of the Blue Mountains, Clearview and Wasaga Beach.
  As humans, two things we all complain about is the weather and taxes and that will unlikely never change.  Nonetheless, in a community whose economy is increasingly driven by lower paying retail and service industry jobs and one which has to this point been an attractive location for fixed income retirees to move to, having the second highest rate of taxes in the area is not an enviable position to be in.  Higher taxes erodes the budget of fixed income property owners and further will impact those lower income earners living in rental properties as well. Once the $12 million so-called "tax neutral" recreational facilities are up and running, who knows what impact they will have on Collingwood's future tax rates via the annual operating costs associated with those facilities.  Then again, since Collingwood does not have the highest residential tax rate in the region, I guess this fits someone's definition of "low."

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.