Surprise Tax Hike for Windsor Homeowners Due to Provincial Changes
Final numbers are in for Windsor's 2021 tax rate and homeowners are in for a surprise.
While the city did hold the line on taxes, due to a $10.5-million reduction in the education levy, residential property owners will now see a 2.4 per cent tax increase while taxes for business and industrial properties will drop as much as 6.5% thanks to pandemic relief from the province.
Councillor Fred Francis supports tax breaks for businesses, but would have liked to see more help for homeowners.
"I do agree with providing businesses with tax breaks because the last two years have been very, very difficult for anyone running a business and businesses in general. I would have loved to see more tax relief for homeowners and property owners, but that's something that the province would have to mitigate through their policies," he says.
Francis all council can do is control the spending and what we decide to spend, is how much money to decide to raise.
"So if we raise the same amount of money we did last year, we're not raising any new spending. That's as good as we can do outside of a reduction in spending," he says.
Even though council isn't spending any additional money, Francis says they still have to balance the books.
"It's very complicated, it's very complex. It's no different from what we do every year. In previous years, sometimes we set the tax levy and the province comes down with the rates and we're able to have it be lower than we anticipated. It just so happens this year it's higher," he adds.
The 2.4 per cent residential property tax increase will amount to roughly $64 for the average Windsor homeowner — final tax bills will be mailed out in June.
With files from Rob Hindi