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Local property values not keeping pace

13/02/23 — Property values in Fort Erie did not keep pace with other municipalities in Niagara and are among the most lacklustre in Ontario.

According to the 2012 re-assessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, values increased by a total of 2.99 per cent locally since 2008.

Assessments in Niagara are up by a total of 7.11 per cent and 18 per cent across Ontario.

Increases in assessments are phased in over four years but decreases on individual properties are applied immediately.

Because the declines are weighted so heavily in the first year of this new assessment period, residential assessments for 2013 are actually reduced by 0.79 per cent.

In other terms, the median value of a home in Fort Erie is $175,360 compared to $176,756 last year.

MPAC analyzes real estate transactions in the past four years to set the property assessments according to market values.

Fort Erie is among the very few municipalities in the province with devalued assessments for 2013.

Among upper tier municipalities, such as regions and single tier municipalities, only Windsor performed worse with a drop of 2.5 per cent for and an increase of 0.3 per cent over the four-year period.

Property values in Haliburton (Peterborough and area) declined by 1.5 per cent but showed a more robust 4.3 per cent increase over four years, suggesting a small number of properties were radically reduced.

There are likely other lower-tier municipalities which declined, but they require an exhaustive review of MPAC records to find.

In Niagara, only Wainfleet shows a decline for 2013 of 0.02 per cent. All other municipalities increased with Niagara-on-the-Lake leading the way at 2.29 per cent.

There appears to be a north-south divide for property assessments in Niagara with northern municipalities outpacing southern municipalities.

Assessment changes in the other Niagara municipalities are: Grimsby (2.17 per cent), West Lincoln (1.84), Pelham (1.67), Lincoln (1.64), St. Catharines (1.48), Thorold (1.00), Niagara Falls (1.09), Welland (0.94), Port Colborne (0.86).

Farmers, on the other hand, experienced a dramatic increase of 11.1 per cent for 2013, reflecting a 48 per cent increase over four years throughout the province.

MPAC states the increase is based on actual sales of land that will be used for agriculture only, not developed for other uses.

Commercial property assessments dropped 2.9 per cent.

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