Could Someone (smarter than me) Check my Math? [Updated]

by Jason Fredin

I am attempting to understand the calculations that are behind our municipal tax rate in an effort to understand the city’s budget process.

Listed below are actual numbers I have gathered from a couple locations.

The home value is my house in White Oaks as assessed by MPAC.

The calculation for 2012 property taxes is from the city’s website. [1]

The 2013 property tax calculation uses a 0% increase, but reduces the municipal share of the tax by 2.48%, the phased in assessment growth.[2]

Could someone please review these numbers and correct any errors I have made in calculation or assumption.

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 8.16.48 AM

By my calculations under a proposed tax freeze I will actually be paying $17.99 less next year.



Update (February 12,2013):

Apparently none of this math matters, and I kind of understand why.

From an email I recived from the city’s finance department this morning “Jason, you cannot calculate exact tax rates simply from the City budget.”

It was explained in the email that there is much more that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to the rate we pay for taxes.

While the city discusses how much we should spend as a whole, the percentages are only a rough projection of the final cost to taxpayers.

Other factors like the education amount which will be lower for 2013 at  0.212% (a number I can’t find online publicly anywhere) and the ratios which set the multi-unit, industrial and commercial rates are still up for discussion/finalization after the budget process is complete. All these factors can alter the final rate we pay for property taxes.

That’s really too bad because I was hoping to build something similar to the calculator Ottawa provides its citizens at, with the ability to enter your own property information and see how the change in budget decisions reflected in your final bill, as opposed to this ‘average homeowner’ we hear about in all media reports.

I think this calculator could be a good tool to further discussion during budget debates.

This is a setback, but I’m not throwing in the towel on this project, not yet.


[2] Martin Hayward’s report to the Corporate Services Committee January 22, 2013. Schedule C.