Assessment Review Board Decision

February 6, 2013

The Town of Espanola has received the decision from the Assessment Review Board on the assessment value of our local mill. The returned assessment for the years 2009 through to 2012 is $9,937,000. The original assessed value for these years ranged between $19,000,000, through to $26,522,040. The $19,000,000 was the assessed value arising from the previous decision for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008.

The result of this impact is a refund of property taxes of approximately $4.9 million, of which approximately $940,000 is the education portion which will be recovered from the Ministry of Education reconciliation. The Town was prepared for a reduction in assessment to the previously determined level of $19,000,000 however the assessed value is approximately 50% less than what was anticipated. “This news is devastating; the municipality relies on MPAC’s valuations, and for the decision to be almost one-third of this figure is unacceptable. We cannot expect our taxpayers to be held responsible for this financial burden which is unduly handed to them. This situation identifies critical errors in the methodology used for calculating these values and in funding formulas which do not provide for reconciliations of prior years when such adjustments are made retroactively.” said Ms. Townsend, Clerk-Treasurer/Administrator. “Residents simply cannot afford a 50% tax increase for 2013, which is what would be required to fund this liability.”

“I am very disappointed with this result” said Mayor Lehoux, “This would have been the third consecutive year our council would have been able to provide stability to our ratepayers.” He noted the tax rate decreases for the previous two years, the expected decrease forecasted in the first draft budget for 2013, and the fact that water and sewer rates have also not increased for the past three years. The municipality will be working together with other municipalities such as Dryden, Thunder Bay and Fort Frances who are facing the same issues.

For more information contact:
Cynthia Townsend,
Clerk Treasurer/Administrator
100 Tudhope St. Suite 2
Espanola ON P5E 1S6
(P) 705-869-1540 ext. 2102
(F) 705-869-0083