Today, May 21, 2019, Council approves the 2019 Tax Rates for the City of Kenora. The 2019 Capital Budget was approved on December 18, 2018 and the Operating Budget on March 19, 2019.
The 2019 assessment resulted in an increase in the residential tax base of 5.2%. Of this, 4.7% related to increased values on existing homes, with the balance of the increase resulting from new construction.
It was acknowledged that there were many budget challenges to overcome in 2019. Council knew it had to make every effort to help reduce the impact of these assessment increases on the average homeowner. Therefore, again in 2019, Council elected to use Revenue Neutral Tax Ratios. This is a tax tool that maintains the tax burden by class, regardless of where the assessments rose the most. This was done to avoid shifting more of the tax burden onto the residential ratepayers. Also in 2019 the Vacant Unit Rebates for any partial vacancies or building portions have been eliminated and the tax reductions for vacant land, units, and excess land have been reduced to 15% for the commercial, and industrial property classes.
Today’s budget represents a 0.9% decrease in the City’s residential municipal tax rate. Because of the change in assessments, some homeowners will see their tax bills increase and some homeowners will see their tax bills decrease.
What does this mean for the average homeowner? For a typical property with no changes (changes such as a new garage or an addition), the assessment rose by 4.7% but the municipal property tax rate decreased by 0.9%. A property worth $171,000 in 2018 would have paid $2,089.63 in municipal taxes. In 2019, this same property, on average, is assessed at $179,500 and will pay $2,173.85 in taxes. This is an $84.22 dollar increase from the prior year. These amounts are for municipal taxes only and do not include the education taxes.
“Development of the 2019 budget was a challenging one for Council and our taxpayers are always at the forefront of views when determining the impacts of establishing the tax rates. Council gave close consideration to all projects and evaluated the necessities of each level of service and strategies. Council will continue to maintain the City’s financial strength through strong fiscal management and grow our community within our strategic vision.” states Mayor Daniel Reynard.
Jon Ranger, Deputy Treasurer