Reassessment of Hullett wildlife area results in big tax loss for Central Huron

HEATHER BOA Bullet News CENTRAL HURON – The Municipality of Central Huron expects to lose about $95,000 in tax revenue as a result of the change in the way the value of provincial parkland is calculated.

A new calculation for current value assessment (CVA) by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) for the province’s 238 provincial parks decreases the value of mashland in the 2,200-hectacre (5,400 acres) Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area by $7 million, Steve Doherty, who is the municipality’s finance supervisor, reported at a recent council budget meeting.

Municipal taxes are a calculation of property class mill rates applied to property assessments. The tax revenue from the province, however, comes to the municipality as a payment in lieu of taxes.

Most municipalities, such as Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, which is home to Point Farms Provincial Park, come out winners because of increased CVA from changes to calculations for buildings and campsites.

“Given the fact that the Hullett Wildlife is marshland with no significant buildings and no campgrounds, it resulted in a serious decrease in our CVA,” Doherty said.

The loss of $95,000 in taxes would require a two per cent tax increase to maintain the status quo.

Coun. Brian Barnim asked whether there was any mention of municipal taxes starting to flow from the provincially owned site of the former Bluewater Youth Centre, which closed its doors in March 2012.

The 64-bed facility, which is located in the Municipality of Central Huron, is assessed at $11.5 million. However, in the past the municipality received what’s known as heads and beds payment in lieu of taxes. The province pays a flat fee for each bed in a correctional facility, a formula which municipalities across Ontario have complained is grossly inadequate.

The municipality’s treasury department has asked MPAC for clarification on how the centre will be taxed, but hasn’t received an answer to date.

Property assessment notices based on a Jan. 1, 2012 valuation date in the four-year province-wide assessment update were mailed out between September and mid-November.

MPAC assesses and classifies all properties in Ontario.

Written by on November 23, 2012 in Central Huron - No comments

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