Cobourg Council Meet 2021 Budget Target

After a marathon two full days of a special Council Meeting to review the 2021 budget line by line, Council managed to reduce the draft budget sufficiently to more than meet the 0 to 1% target set by Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin.  All Councillors contributed but Councillor Brian Darling made the most suggestions for reductions – although some were only to start a discussion.  There were many decisions made and a lot of information provided so it won’t be possible to give a full report in one post (besides, I’m tired!)  But stay tuned over the next week for reports on the highlights – e.g. what to do about the beach, the CCC and the Concert Hall.  Below is the full motion that Council passed at the end of the meeting.

Final Motion

WHEREAS the Committee of the Whole has considered the 2021 Town of Cobourg Operating and Capital Budget recommendations as presented at the Committee of the Whole Budget Meeting held on January 21, 2021;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council approve the 2021 Capital Budget in the amount of $8,124,600.

AND FURTHER THAT Council approve the 2021 Operating Budget with the Municipal Levy of $24,793,569 which represents a 0.4% increase over the 2020 Operating Budget and a 0.2% net decrease after allowing for New Assessment Growth of 0.6%.

Although the above motion was passed unanimously, it was a Committee of the Whole meeting so the motion will need to be ratified in a future regular meeting.  This is generally a formality.

Assuming there are no further changes, the approved budget means that if your home’s valuation increased by the same as the average in the town, then your Cobourg tax bill will actually go down.  If your valuation is unchanged, then your Cobourg taxes will certainly go down.  The County has already announced their increase will be 1.58% after growth and the School Board has not yet announced their tax levy for 2021.  There is more on how Municipal taxes work at this page.

There will be more detailed reports on Cobourg News Blog over the next week or so.  Stay tuned.

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Dunkirk
25 January 2021 12:52 pm

This is good news. Showing some restraint is probably more important in the year of the pandemic than most. There could be many municipalities that go technically, if not legally, insolvent and it is always uncertain whether other levels of government will be able to support them. It is also uncertain in extreme conditions if the BIA or CCAA provisions can be used to assist any communities that get in trouble and need to re-structure. It’s a given that costs like insurance will go up in this environment as well. While places like Ottawa and Toronto have traditionally had lower tax rates, they will have increases of 3-5% this year. I like our number better.

Liz
23 January 2021 8:44 am

Property tax is a convoluted process. People that bought a few years ago before the housing price explosion paying $250,000 but today valued at $400,000 but kept within or below average price index – according to the tax explanation may not have had their taxes raised at all, even decreased. Yet if they were to sell the new owner would be charged at $400,000 value. Or am I missing something in the explanation?

Liz
Reply to  John Draper
23 January 2021 2:39 pm

John before posting I read the link but did not find information on sale of home value and municipal taxation. In my reply to Bryan I mentioned the fact my home sold for $100,000 above the MPAC valuation and did not ask the new owners if their tax rate was adjusted to the sales value as opposed to the former MPAC value which had been done the year before. It was sold after that during the fervid housing price increases under a bidding war escalating the price of that home to double what I sold it for. Today it would sell I am advised for very close to triple what I sold it for.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Liz
23 January 2021 9:36 am

Tax increases due to assessment increases are phased in over 4 years. Tax decreases due to assessment decreases take effect immediately Tax increases or decreases due to mill rate (“levy”) changes take effect immediately.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Ken Strauss
23 January 2021 12:34 pm

and Input coding from the Town

Conor
Reply to  Ken Strauss
23 January 2021 3:49 pm

You will never see a tax decrease

Bryan
Reply to  Conor
23 January 2021 7:24 pm

Conor:

Cobourgers may see their property tax decrease.
With the MPAC assessment for 2021 frozen at 2020 values and the likelihood that Cobourg’s 2021 tax levy will be less than 2020’s, a decrease in Cobourg property taxes is a possibility

Sandpiper
Reply to  Liz
23 January 2021 9:40 am

If there was ever a study done in this town you wou ld be surprised at what you might find
Realtors have access to do MPAC studies and I sat with my friend last yr doing searches , she is a local realtor and was able to prove to me that Million dollar homes in many cases are paying the same tax as a $450 k home on the same st. I won’t go into detail but but there are lots of them
MPAC it seems never visits the properties any more

geeengrass
Reply to  Sandpiper
23 January 2021 11:14 am

are idivduals alowed to see MPAC housing costs?

Sandpiper
Reply to  geeengrass
23 January 2021 12:32 pm

not if your keeping secrets

Bryan
Reply to  geeengrass
23 January 2021 12:57 pm

Greengrass:
Yes.

You can:

  • go to Victoria Hall and see all of the Town’s MPAC listings
  • do a comparative MPAC search to get comparison data to evaluate your MPAC valuation.

https://www.mpac.ca/en/UnderstandingYourAssessment/ComparePropertyValues

How to compare property valuesLog in to AboutMyProperty with the Roll Number and Access Key found on your Property Assessment Notice. If you don’t have a copy, you can request a copy of your Property Assessment Notice

  • Click on “View my property” to see the data that MPAC has about your property.
  • Click on “Browse my neighborhood” to see the publicly accessible data about other properties in your neighborhood.

As indicated, you need the roll number and access key listed on your property assessment notice to be able to do a search.

https://www.mpac.ca/en/UnderstandingYourAssessment/2020AssessmentUpdate

2020 Assessment Update Postponement
The Ontario Government has announced that the 2020 Assessment Update has been postponed. Property assessments for the 2021 taxation year will continue to be based on the fully phased-in January 1, 2016 current values (i.e., the same valuation date in use for the 2020 taxation year).

https://www.mpac.ca/en/UnderstandingYourAssessment/2020AssessmentUpdate

Your MPAC assessment valuation may have changed for any of the following reasons:

  • change to property ownership, legal description, or school support;
  • change to the property’s value resulting from a Request for Reconsideration, an Assessment Review Board decision, or ongoing property reviews;
  • property value increase/decrease reflecting a change to the property; for example, a new structure, addition, or removal of an old structure; or
  • change in the classification or tax liability of the property.

In the case outlined by Sandpiper: $1M properties with similar MPAC assessments as nearby $450K properties: the $450K owner could go to MPAC and request an assessment reduction on the basis of comparison with the $1M property

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Liz
Reply to  Sandpiper
23 January 2021 3:08 pm

Hi Sandpiper – to complicate things there is a firm that will ask for a reassessment to your property based on the lowest sales value of a home on your street that is probably the reason why. You can ask for the reassessment yourself based on this information but most people find this area complex and for a small fee the firm will do this for you.

Last edited 1 month ago by Liz
Bryan
Reply to  Liz
23 January 2021 1:03 pm

Liz:
As indicated below in my post to Greengrass, a property sale can (and does) result in a change (increase usually) in the MPAC assessment

https://www.mpac.ca/en/UnderstandingYourAssessment/2020AssessmentUpdate
An MPAC assessment valuation may change for any of the following reasons:

  • change to property ownership, legal description, or school support;
  • change to the property’s value resulting from a Request for Reconsideration, an Assessment Review Board decision, or ongoing property reviews;
  • property value increase/decrease reflecting a change to the property; for example, a new structure, addition, or removal of an old structure; or
  • change in the classification or tax liability of the property.
Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Liz
Reply to  Bryan
23 January 2021 2:31 pm

Change to Property Ownership Bryan that is particularly the aspect that I was wondering about. With the link provided stating below/above average sales price and the consequent decrease or increase due to current MPAC valuation. As I recall the home I owned sold for $100,000 more than its MPAC valuation I thought would have triggered a valuation increase by MPAC and tax increase for the new owners.

Liz
Reply to  Liz
23 January 2021 2:43 pm

Thank you to each of you for taking the time to assist me in increasing my knowledge of municipal taxation.