Grey County lowers taxes for multi-residential properties

·2 min read

Grey County has begun the process to equalize its tax ratios by bringing down the tax rate for multi-residential properties.

At its meeting on April 27, county council approved a report from staff that will implement a 7.65 per cent drop in the multi-residential tax ratio from 1.44 to 1.33. Over the next several years, the county plans to reduce that ratio to 1.00.

The move comes with the province encouraging the equalization of the ratios around Ontario in an effort to spur the development and construction of more purpose-built rental properties.

Each property class in Grey County (residential, farm, managed forest, new multi-residential, multi-residential, commercial, resort condominium, industrial, landfill and pipeline) has its own tax ratios that determine the amount of property tax they pay. The starting ratio is 1.00, which is charged to all residential properties in the county. Some property classes are seen as revenue-generating (industrial and commercial) and have a higher ratios. Others such as farm and managed forest have lower ratios.

Grey County sets tax policy and the ratios for all of its member municipalities, with the exception of the City of Owen Sound.

Mary Lou Spicer, the county's director of finance, delivered the report to county council and said beginning the equalization process now is smart business.

“It makes sense to do it before we’re told to,” she said. “This doesn’t change the budget you passed in any way.”

The change does not have an impact on the county’s tax levy in 2023. The county will still collect a total of $67,932,643 in total property taxes. The ratio change will shift just over $45,000 from the multi-residential tax class to the other nine property classes. The change will see the average home in Grey County assessed at $285,000 pay $1.60 more in county taxes in 2023.

Spicer noted that Owen Sound, where half of the county’s multi-residential tax assessment is found, has already begun the shift.

“It’s important for Owen Sound and the county to be in sync,” she said.

County council approved the measure with little comment. Owen Sound Deputy Mayor Scott Greig said he hopes that multi-residential property owners pass the tax savings on to their tenants.

“This is passing along a real benefit to a lot of individuals who rent,” said Greig, who added that it would be “inexcusable” for the owners of those properties to “pocket” the reductions.

The change impacts only older multi-residential properties, as the province has already mandated that newly built multi-residential properties are equalized with the residential tax ratio.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,