Taxing times

So, where were we?

So, where were we?

Oh yes, in a perfect world the owner of a home valued at $100,000 last year and $80,000 this could expect a roughly $150 reduction in property taxes.

Of course, that is only going to happen if the various taxing authorities – including the city – let it.

In the case of the city, the $100,000 homeowner of 2010 paid them $238 under the heading of general municipal tax.

And given an updated $80,000 valuation might expect a savings of about $48 this year.

However council, while happy to reap the rewards of the 30 per cent leap in residential assessed values last year, are undoubtedly going to be less than happy with the reverse scenario.

Their problem, of course, is if they leave the taxation rate unchanged they will get less money this year than they did last.

And the problem is compounded because, as noted in our front page story, the value of light industry and commercial also fell.

(True, major industry collapsed with the closure of Eurocan, but the 20 per cent hike we all got last year was supposed to take care that so should not be part of this equation. Rime will tell how well that worked.)

So, as they go into budget deliberations late next month, council will face the ugly fact that if they leave the tax rate on all classes where it is, they are going to be short a bucket full of money.

In other words what is good for the tax paying goose is not good for the municipal gander.

Of course, they could just suck it up and make cuts to departmental budgets and capital expenditures and allow us all to enjoy a rare tax break.

Any bets?

More next week.

Malcolm Baxter

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