Lower valuation of big-box stores in Cornwall may raise taxes for residents
The City of Cornwall is suing the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation after an overassessment of three of Canada’s largest retailers who have recently opened shop in the community.
Big box stores such as Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Canadian Tire offer consumers an assortment of products and supply a number of jobs but it may come as a cost for the residents.
According to the City of Cornwall, they are taking legal action against the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation after Shoppers Drug Mart appealed a 2012 assessment of $55 million, and they appealed that assessment six years later, which left them with a new valuation of $44 million forcing the city to refund the drugstore $260,000 in property taxes collected over that time.
Municipalities like Brockville have a plan in place to avoid this type of setback to its budget.
“The City of Brockville budgets for reassessments on an annual basis and as good as our budgeting practices are; depending on the new assessment, it may not be good enough,” said David Dick, director of corporate service for the City of Brockville. Dick continued by explaining that the assessments are every four years which allows the municipalities time to prepare its budgets, but says big-box stores are essential for community growth.
A reason for the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation lowering valuations years after it was initially assessed is due to the prominence of online shopping and other means of modern consumerism, which has ultimately reduced the amount of foot traffic at each store.
CKWS News reached out to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation for a comment and they have yet to respond.