Farmland property owners in Burpee-Mills to see a significant increase in taxes

EVANSVILLE—While the Burpee-Mills budget will see a minimal increase in the municipal millrate due to the new assessment on farmland properties, farmers will see a huge increase in the taxes they pay this year.

Ken Noland, reeve of Burpee-Mills, told the Recorder earlier this week, “council and our office staff have done a good job overall to keep our millrate and taxes down. Overall, there will be a one-third of one percent increase in our municipal millrate.”

However, “due to MPAC’s (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) new assessments, the increase will be significant to farmland properties,” said Mr. Noland. He explained that the taxes collected by the township under the previous MPAC assessment was approximately 80 percent residential and 20 percent farmland; this has now been changed to 70 percent residential and 30 percent farmland.

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“And with the assessments having gone up farmers will see a 30 percent increase in taxes on their farmland,” said Reeve Noland. “And that’s after council decided to reduce the farmland rate from 25 to 23 percent of the overall residential rate, to give farmers a bit of a break.”

“This all goes back to the municipality having met the ministry and MPAC two or three times, but MPAC always indicated the assessment rates were set, and basically they and the province didn’t want to listen to us,” said Reeve Noland. “As it was said by Steve Maxwell at one meeting with MPAC prior to last Christmas, how did you (MPAC) get this so wrong?”

Reeve Noland said that it was a waste of 82 local residents’ time to file a request for reconsideration of their assessment to MPAC as they weren’t listening. “They (MPAC) had no intention of dealing with or changing the land values they had already set in place. They had the dollar value for land set in place, and there was going to be no changing their minds.”

“And what we have ended up with is that the dollar value to be collected from farmland will increase 30 percent; farmers will see an increase of about 30 percent in their taxes depending on what their farmland is valued at,” continued Reeve Noland.

Reeve Noland, who is also a farmer, when asked told the Recorder, “I’m going to see a close to 100 percent increase in my taxes this year. My farmland doubled in value according to the new assessment. So my tax bill is going to be close to double what it was last year.”

“I’ve said all along, as soon as we saw the shift in assessments we would see significant impact to farmland taxation,” said Reeve Noland.