Who would like to look at some of the County issues and provide some content here? County & Education take up more than half of our total taxes. And County taxes keep spiraling out of control with no one paying attention.
Some possible issues:
Tax class ratios:
These are set by County Council each spring and result in owners of commercial, multi-residential (over 5 units) & industrial property paying higher taxes than residential on both County and Town taxes. Currently, the owner of a 6-plex is taxed at 2.2 times the rate for a 5-plex with the same assessment. (However, the owners of “new” multi-residential units pay the same rate as residential for 35 years.) Taxes are, of course, passed on to tenants, who (unknowingly) are subsidizing the owners of single-family homes. A fair estimate is that tax class ratios drive up rents by about 10%.
Other Counties have reduced the ratios towards “the range of fairness”. Our County hasn’t. Several years ago, landlord, Steve Manders, organized a lobby to change this. He was met with blank stares. Each spring, County staff put the usual Staff Recommendation before Council to leave the class ratios unchanged. And each year, County Council adopts it with little discussion or debate. Sound familiar?
Would some of our tenant members like to take up this issue?
Tax Class Ratios of our Neighbours:
Municipality Commercial Multi Residential Industrial Notes
Lennox&Addington 1.417467 2.219400 2.17000
Hastings 1.100000 1.153500 1.129200 excludes Belleville/QuinteW
Frontenac 1.000000 1.00000 1.00000 excludes Kingston
Belleville (st) 1.919122 2.510162 2.40000
QuinteWest (st) 1.538500 2.130000 2.44600
Prince Edward (st) 1.112500 1.440200 1.389500
Kingston (st) 1.98000 2.227788 2.630000 multi-res being lowered
Ganaonque (st) 1.89400 1.894000 1.894000 ratios are being lowered
st = single tier municipality
Centre St Bottleneck:
Centre Street is a County Road. It remains a bottleneck and despite numerous
In the medium term, building a 2-way
In the long term, the County proposes a “third crossing” over the Napanee River west of Town. (See p. 191 of Town Official Plan for approx location.) This will be very expensive, with bridges over CN and the river. The location is questionable and it is unclear how it will connect to 401. An alternative might be a new road east of Town connecting the Palace Road interchange to Hamburg Road east of Agoren Self Storage, thus avoiding the expensive river crossing. But, both options are decades in the future.
The Province now requires Counties to have official plans too. This may make sense in larger centers but it makes no sense at all here. The County has dragged its feet and the good people in Queen’s Park are now threatening consequences if they don’t get moving. So, the County budgeted $50,000 this year and hired Meridian, a planning consultant from Vaughan to generate over 100 pages which
Even the Town planner, John Uliana, who made a presentation to Town
There are lots of other county issues, most of which go under the radar. Should we have a “council watch” at County Council meeting too? Do you have a suggestion for a County issue that we could put here? If so, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year the County will pay MPAC, a provincial agency, about $700,000 to assess the properties in Lennox and Addington County. For an average household that’s $32.28. Do we get value for our money? Okay, everyone knows we don’t. MPAC is a total disaster. When was the last time they inspected a property in Greater Napanee? Just look at the Ombudsman’s report MPAC in credibility crisis and Getting it Right. But the County still has to pay for their service and there are no alternate service providers. Should they complain to the Province? Would it do any good? Or are the good people at Queens Park too busy ripping up
In 2015, the County will spend $245,000 on capital improvements to
The New Center of Town:
At left are the County Welfare Office and the CAS building. Also in the immediate area are the fire hall, the police station
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Hubert Hogle 532-3672
Dennis Mills 354-6375
Arthur Ronald 354-4291
We have added six additional directors, John Wilson, Judy Wood, John Stinson, Briane Birney, Suzy Sheltler and Anne Hogle. All residents and taxpayers in Greater Napanee are welcome to become members and all interested parties are welcome to receive our regular newsletters and contribute content to the website. If you are interested in serving as a director, let us know.