Today’s edition of the North Star had an article on the tax rate for the Town that left me a little confused. So, I gave Town Staff a call for a better understanding that I would like to share with you. You may want to read the North Star article first.
The Town of Parry Sound is increasing the amount of its 2018 levy by 3.23% relative to 2017. The net/net is that they need to raise more in 2018 than 2017 to cover budgeted expenses.
But, tax rates are not going up by 3.23%. This is for a number of reasons, most notably an increase in the assessed base on which the taxes are levied. The average tax rate increase for the Town is 1.98%. Not all properties will see exactly this 1.98% increase as assessments and assessment category rates can vary from year to year. The example in the North Star article referred to a $79.73 increase in taxes for a property assessed at $211,735. If you do the arithmetic it actually amounts to an increase of 2.6%. The increase for condominiums will be 4.2% based on the numbers in the North Star article. The larger rate increase for condominiums represents an average increase in assessed value that is being phased in over four years.
Still, I think that Council and Staff did a good job of keeping a lid on tax increases. Much of the 2018 increase is related to the Town’s decision to invest in its infrastructure. Much like saving for retirement, it’s best to start early before you are faced with large expenses that can’t be covered with existing income.