Did anyone else get a letter in the mail this week from the Town of Orangeville and say WTF (what’s this for) when they opened it? Yes, for those of us who pay our taxes quarterly, this was our semiannual surprise from the Town. So, why do we pay so much in property taxes? How does the town determine how much you pay? And what exactly does the town do with all of the money that they generate?
Let’s start by determining how each household gets charged a specific amount of property tax. Most of us have heard of MPAC which is the acronym for the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. These are the good folks who assign the “assessed value” to your home. This is an important number as it is part of the equation that triggers your tax amount due. The municipality that you live in then assigns what is called a mill rate to the style of home you live in. Mill rates vary from community to community and from style of home or commercial property. Let’s say the value of your home is assigned by MPAC as $600,000. The mill rate assigned by the town is 1.4%. The home owner would pay $8400 in annual property taxes.
Here is how we pay taxes in Orangeville. There are two common methodologies. First up, some people choose to pay their property taxes blended with their mortgage payments. This is sometimes simpler as it reduces the tax “hit”. The other method is to pay your taxes quarterly. The town issues a statement in the spring with two installments and in the fall with the final two installments with the tax due date. We encourage everyone to pay their taxes in a timely fashion.
Some people have the mistaken thought process that if they don’t pay their property taxes and this amount goes into arrears, it’s not a big deal. It is and let me tell you why. The town accrues unpaid taxes, interest and fines and if a resident chooses not to pay the outstanding amount can force the sale of the home. So don’t ignore those nasty notices. No good can come from that.
So what happens with these tax dollars that are collected? I know I scratch my head, complain about how high our taxes are and reluctantly pay them. But we need to take a step back, look at the great town we live in and understand that tax revenues go to support the various departments and infrastructure that is required to keep our beautiful town beautiful. These costs include snow removal, garbage collection, policing, major capital projects like road and bridge repairs, town staffing and maintaining and improving all services currently offered by the Town of Orangeville. You can visit the Town of Orangeville’s website to view their detailed budget of annual expenses.
Here is the final disclaimer. If you have any questions about your current property taxes, how to make a tax payment, what the town charges in penalties and interest or any other general tax inquiries, call the Town of Orangeville at 519-941-0440 ext 2210.