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MPAC continues to impact municipal planning
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MPAC continues to impact municipal planning

Posted: 2024-07-03 07:35:48 By: thebay

Bracebridge General Committee approved the Town’s Business Plan guidelines and schedule, in the July 2, 2024, meeting.

According to the staff report, the Plan outlines the Town’s services, provides a forecast of the financial impacts, and helps guide areas such as User Fees and Service Charges, Roads and Bridges, and Capital Works.

Drivers of the plan include the Consumer Price Index (CPI), government funding, development charges, capital planning, The Muskoka Lumber Community Centre, and the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) Taxable Assessment.

The report indicates, “A portion of the Town’s tax requirement may naturally be attained through increases in the property assessment…phased-in increases in property values and new development.”

The report adds that phased-in assessment increases have gone from 3.70% in 2019 to 1.73% in 2024.

It continues that the provincial postponement has had an impact on municipal assessments. “As a result, all property assessments for 2024 taxation year continues to be based on market values as of January 1, 2016, as determined by Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).”

According to staff, at this time it’s still unclear about whether an assessment will happen in time for the 2025 taxation year.

Mayor, Rick Maloney, indicated that the delay in the assessment is creating challenges, and inquired to staff about updates.

Director of Finance/Treasurer, Paul Judson, advised that the province is currently conducting a budget review on the taxation systems in municipalities. He said, “A reassessment won’t happen until they complete the review.”

He suggested that municipalities can apply pressure for the government to complete the review “sooner rather than later,” however, given the current timeline it’s unlikely that an assessment will be implemented in time for the next budget.

He also clarified that the assessment doesn’t impact revenues, but rather “it affects how the tax burden is distributed across properties… How we collect it is based on assessed values.”

Maloney suggested, “If it is fairly distributed…that becomes a challenge for the taxpayer that is on the receiving end of that distribution.”

Judson added that a phase-in approach was used in the past, spanning a 4-year period, however, given that current assessments have been postponed for such a long period of time, it is uncertain about what approach will be used.

The staff report indicates the final approval for the 2025 Municipal Budget and Business Plan will be December 1, 2024.