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County councillors digging in to oppose gravel pit assessment change

by Mike Robinson.

What sort of legacy will MPAC’s appeal settlement with gravel producers leave for municipalities across Ontario?

On Jan. 9, Wellington County treasurer Ken DeHart said the change has a major impact on the county and its municipalities.

DeHart explained the assessment of gravel pits has been under appeal since the 2009 taxation year.

In 2016, MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) and the OSSGA (Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association) came to an agreement to settle “legacy appeals” from the 2009 to 2016 taxation years.

DeHart explained the previous assessment method valued active areas of aggregate operations at industrial land rates on a per-acre basis. That valued most county pits at between $40,000 and $50,000 per acre depending on the size of the pit. Other areas of the site were taxed based on the use of the land (farm or residential).

DeHart said the new method of assessment values active areas of aggregate operations at class 5 farmland rates, plus “site preparation costs,” to a maximum of $15,000 per acre province-wide.

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