Home Announcements Midland Taxes Second Lowest In Simcoe County?

Midland Taxes Second Lowest In Simcoe County?

403
9

Simcoe County Tax Rates 2015

This chart (reportedly prepared by Ted Walker CAO of Penetanguishene and former CAO of Midland) seems to indicate that Midland is actually doing quite a good job at keeping our taxes per household low in Simcoe County.  If the numbers are what they appear to be, perhaps we stop the fire-sale of our PUC, reconsider reducing services at our recreational facilities, stop “retiring” our most experienced human resources and making our community less than attractive to investment.  Statistics can easily be manipulated to defend almost any position.  You read these, then read others and decide whether Midland is truly “circling the bowl”.

Watch the short video at the top of the page created by the Niagara Region in Ontario and published by the City of London to help explain the relationship between property value and property taxes.

How is Property Tax Determined?

A number of factors go into determining your yearly property tax rate:

  • The annual budget for Town & County services; which includes things like funding Police, Fire and Ambulance Service, Roads, Sidewalks, Transit, Parks, Trails, Museums, Recreation Centres, Libraries, and all Town programs and services;
  • Provincial taxes (to fund education);
  • Your property value which is assessed every four years by MPAC.

Many factors go into the taxes assessed for each home and in speaking with some quasi-experts in the field but outside of Midland, it seems that our unusually low assessed values of our higher-end homes plays a key role in higher overall taxes.

It is actually quite complicated, but outside experts seem to think that many of our luxury homes are assessed far lower (by MPAC) than they should have been and so the wealthy are paying less than their fair share while the middle class are paying more. Sounds about right doesn’t it?

Now, I don’t relish paying more property tax than I have to, but if the assessed values are too low, then the difference has to be made up elsewhere by everyone else.  A person living in a home that is worth a million+ dollars (there are many of them in town folks) who has either fought a high assessment to get it lowered or simply had an incorrectly low value assessed is being subsidized by those who have 120-500k homes (which is the majority).

This makes comparing equally-valued properties in other communities very misleading since those “values” are subject to wide variations which skews any attempt to normalize the calculation.   A fully serviced 1800 Sq/ft home by the same builder with the same layouts and finish (inside and out) should be the same value in Midland and in Collingwood (the land on which the home sits may be more or less valuable depending on location).  If that were so, then it would be easy to compare.  But, that is not the way it works.  So look at the numbers one way, we have a high tax rate, look at it the other way, we are low by comparison.

There are other issues like education, water, waste and other services but the assessment values seem to be Midland’s largest single contributor to higher taxes.  A well-serviced community is not cheap to administer.  We have seen cuts after more cuts and no real reduction in taxes… in fact they have increased.  So, maybe the problem is not that we pay too much tax, maybe some of our wealthy residents don’t pay enough?  Maybe those who can afford to pay more, should be paying more to keep the community they chose to live in served – even if they choose not to avail themselves of those services.  What can we do to make sure assessed property values are realistic and fair across the board?

Have a look at the spin that has been put on the statistics we’ve all heard and read about for more than two years from another community publication and draw your own conclusions – numbers, charts and graphs can be easily manipulated to make one’s point… http://midlandcommunity.ca/midland-taxes-are-highest/

Are we really as bad off as we are led to believe?  Weigh in below in the comment section.  Many of our readers have educated opinions on these matters and we invite input.  Town hall has done a poor job at explaining where we are and how we got here.  To be fair to our Mayor and Council, it’s easy to find someplace else that is better off than here so maybe we don’t need to be so fixated on taxes and spread our efforts around efficiencies that don’t impact the high calibre of services that we enjoy in our community and that don’t result in the wholesale divestment of our resources and assets.

Review this PDF we found online that highlights the differences between communities:

(403)

Comment(9)

  1. Your headline is wrong. The “tax rate” in Midland is high, as stated by that other group. However, since the average property value is lower, the amount of taxes collected seems like less. Compare two equally valued properties in different towns, and you will find that Midland pays more in taxes than elsewhere.

    1. You are absolutely right about the tax rate and it should read taxes (corrected), but comparing equally valued homes is also misleading since the assessment values are subjective at best, and many may argue flawed. If everything was truly equal and fairly assessed, then the calculation and comparison would be far easier. In this chart, if the numbers are to be believed (and we have no reason to doubt Ted Walker’s ability to make this chart accurately), we are far from the worst place to settle and pay taxes.

  2. I see that other group was also using a chart from 2009 where the tax rate % was .994315, and for 2015 that was dropped to .921389.

  3. Seems the sky may not be falling after all… McChicken Little may want to revise his stance that Midland is such a bad place to live and that you are over taxed.

    I like your video, it actually made sense to me. I know my place in Midland could likely be assessed higher but I will wait to see what MPAC does to me soon enough. Waterfront property was not cheap to buy but the taxes are a deal compared to the waterfront in Collingwood or Orillia. My place on Couch was costing me too much to bother keeping for summers.

    I love reading your stuff. Keep spreading the truth and getting people talking. Then maybe the special interest group will be exposed for what they really are doing in the community.

  4. It is also likely that the lower property values are in part because of the high taxes. This is a huge problem. Water and sewer applied in the formula is statistically meaningless unless the data was collected from usage at that tier. I doubt if that expense tiers out. So using averaged data from the whole mixed with an upper or lower tier creates misleading data. In fact, it makes that data meaningless because you are mixing averaged upper tier and lower tier water and sewer data and combining them against a static mill rate which makes it appear that the upper tier is getting a free ride. Show separate taxation data and separate water and sewer by municipality so that its apples to apples. Unless the water and sewer data was taken from the tiers, then my apologies. Bad data in some parts of your story leaves the rest of the information suspect. But as you say, you can twist the data to suit your motive. What is your motive for defending what is clear to any taxpayer when they shop for housing elsewhere that Midlands taxes are high for all residents rich, poor, black or white?

    1. No ulterior motives, just publishing a chart prepared by someone who is respected in both communities as knowing what he is talking about. We were as surprised as anyone when Mayor Marshall tweeted this out and it did not align with what we have been reading and hearing from a group who has purported to the be the authority thus far on our community’s over-taxation. We published data that should help others compare and contrast the data as well as third party explanation of the tax rate process. If you are suggesting that Ted Walker’s data is meaningless and flawed, then Penetanguishene’s economic strategy just announced is defective. We hope this gets people talking about the upcoming MPAC assessment and to carefully watch how our council deals with tax reforms in Midland.

  5. You have got to be kidding. Fact – Our home in Midland has a value of around 500k which makes us far from “wealthy”
    Our taxes are north of $7000 / year. The same home in Tay or Tiny would be taxed at almost half of that. Taxes in Midland are a real problem, in fact we almost did not move here for that reason alone. You are correct that things can be manipulated, including people, to make your point, however facts are facts.

    1. We were astounded to see the numbers published by Penetanguishene’s Mayor. This article, video and explanation puts some of this into context for people who have no idea how the taxes are calculated. There are two sides to every coin and three sides to every story… we wonder where the truth lies in this matter.

Leave a Reply

Midland Taxes Second Lowest In Simcoe County?

9
%d bloggers like this: