UXBRIDGE: Special considerations given to gravel pits and golf courses during property value assessment drew the ire of council recently.
At their meeting on the morning of Monday, July 15, representatives from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) appeared before council to provide an update on the assessment process.
Over the course of their presentation, MPAC representatives Joe Regina and Mike Porporo detailed the process regarding assessments for golf courses and gravel pits that drew council's ire.
As the pair explained, gravel pits are valued based on a variety of land uses and do not take into account the value of any aggregate materials contained within the site.
"In a gravel pit, you have acres and acres of land being used for a variety of uses. So we rely heavily on information from property owners," said Mr. Regina, who added that only active areas of gravel pits are taxed as industrial land.
Meanwhile, golf courses are subject to revised values based on changes within the marketplace.
"There appears to be increased supply, but declining demand for golf courses, and the market determines value," explained Mr. Porporo. "It's been evolving over the past 10 years and we're realizing what's happening out there and assessments reflect what's taking place in the industry."
These rationalizations did not sit well with councillors who derided the practice.
"I find it totally unacceptable that you go to two industries and ask 'would you like to lower your taxes?' Give me a break, why not go to residential areas and ask the same thing?" pondered Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor. "This may force us to fight with the aggregate industry instead of working with them."
Mayor O'Connor added that the municipality could stand to lose more than $500,000 in annual revenue due to the wrinkles in the assessment process and noted the strain such moves may take on the residential tax base.