Property tax rise in Windsor
By Christina Chibani
Windsor city council has come to a budget agreement and will be increasing property taxes for homeowners and businesses.
Windsor residents’ property tax will increase by 1.73 per cent, meaning that starting in the spring, homeowners will be paying, on average, an extra $47. Property values for 2017 have been updated, however residents who own a property might see an increase or decrease.
“The property tax rate includes both a municipal and education component,” said Janice Guthrie, deputy treasurer-taxation and financial projects. “A change in any one of these factors will impact the amount of property tax paid each year.”
City Council sets its tax rates later this year and the 2017 education tax rate is unknown.
“It all depends what the tax increases are for. If it is to increase or maintain services, it might be worth it. If, without the tax increase, the city would increase its debt, we’re pushing the burden on future
generations,” said associate professor in economics at the University of Windsor, Christian Trudeau.
Trudeau thinks a higher tax rate might push Windsor business owners out of the city, especially if the property value is higher than their business income. The increase in property tax will depend on the neighbourhood.
“If more expensive neighbourhoods have seen their values increase faster than cheaper ones, then the rich will see their tax bills increase even more compared to lower income households,” said Trudeau.
According to Trudeau, many low-income families live in apartments and their landlords will have an increase in tax and therefore, they will have to pay a higher rent rate.
Peter Savoni is a business professor at the University of Windsor who teaches accounting and taxation. He expects to see changes in the city now that property taxes have gone up.
“Paying a higher property tax is paying for financial sins of the past. No politician wants to say ‘I’m increasing taxes,'” said Savoni. “It can be looked at as a financial decision or political decision.”
Homeowners and business owners will be affected differently by the tax increase. Some may feel cheated, as they will be paying more in taxes but not seeing any change or benefit from it.
“Tax not increasing for years, is that a sacrifice?” said Savoni.
For example, Savoni said roads that could have been fixed years ago or problems with the sewers are worse and probably require more money.
Windsor residents will see changes made based on the 2017 budget, such as curb-side bulk item pick up where for $20 residents can have large items picked up at the curb and $20,000 towards a resolution for the rat problem in the city.