| Apr 23, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - April 23, 2009 Addington Highlands CouncilBy Jeff Green

No major tax increase in the cards for Addington Highlands

Addington Highlands Council has not completed deliberating over the 2009 budget, but Treasurer Jack Pauhl brought some draft numbers to a Council meeting on Monday Night in Denbigh.

At that point, the levy to ratepayers for local taxes stood at $205,000 below last years’ levy.

“The major reason is that we’ve received about $400,000 more in our OMPF funding this year,” said Jack Pauhl.

Ontario Municipal Partnership Funding (OMPF) comes from the Provincial government and is intended to partially compensate municipalities for the cost of running services that were downloaded to them from the Province ten years ago, including policing and social service costs.

The township budgeting process is not complete, however, in the in camera meeting that followed the meeting on Monday night there were potential property purchases being discussed that could swallow up some or all of the $205,000 levy decrease.

County taxes in Lennox and Addington, which make up 21% of the municipal tax bill for Addington Highlands residents, rose by 3.8% this year.

Once the dust settles, the total amount of taxes paid collectively by all of the ratepayers in Addington Highlands will likely be about the same as last year, but how those costs will be distributed among individual property owners will change.

As the result of property reassessment late in 2008, the average Addington Highlands property received an increase in value of 10.34% to be applied to 2009 taxes. (Property values actually went up about 40% on average, but the increase is being phased in over four years.)

The upshot is that Addington Highlands ratepayers whose property values are up less than 10.34% will likely pay less tax this year than they did last year, and properties that went up more than 10.34% will pay more than they paid last year.

The trend is for waterfront properties, which have jumped in value over the past ten years, to shoulder a higher and higher share of the municipal tax burden.

Asking for infrastructure grants – Addington Highlands Council decided that when it comes to federal infrastructure grants, there is no sense in being shy. They approved requests for $1.5 million for a rebuild of the Matawatchan Road, $125,000 for the Denbigh garage, and $500,000 for the Northbrook Fire Hall from the recently announced Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. They also applied to the BUILD Canada fund for the Matawatchan Road rebuild.

If successful, there will be local costs to match the federal portion to be taken from township reserve funds, which will need to be replenished.

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