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Fergus, Ont. man feels nickel-and-dimed for $0.05 property tax bill

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A property tax bill is perplexing a small townhouse community in Fergus, Ont.

It’s not uncommon to hear people complain about taxes, but one man is speaking out because the bill is so low.

“Really? Five cents? Someone sent a bill for five cents?” said Blake Kent, recalling his reaction when he first saw the bill.

He is the board’s treasurer for the freehold townhouse condo complex his lives in. The recent property tax bill is addressed to the property manager and is for shared spaces like the walkway and parkette. The property manager did pay up.

“They actually sent a cheque for five cents,” said Kent.

Property owners in this subdivision pay their own individual tax bills, but he wasn’t previously aware of tax payments for common areas.

“There is a clause in the Condominium Act that does permit the billing of common elements,” said Kent.

Given the amount is so low, he feels it’s a waste of resources and hopes the account is eventually closed since it’s less than $1. With a background in finance, he said that’s something he saw done often when he was working.

“This is ridiculous. The cost of the paper the cost of the envelope and the 51 cents or whatever Canada Post is charging for first-class mail,” said Kent.

In an email to CTV News, a spokesperson for the Township of Centre Wellington said it is the responsibility of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) to determine property valuation.

“As a township, we are solely responsible for the levying of property taxes based on MPAC property assessment data, and to do so in fair an equitable manner for all properties within the Township, regardless of valuation. We have notified MPAC of this valuation matter,” the statement reads, in part.

The spokesperson also reiterated it is the responsibility of the property manager to pay the tax bill as presented.

MPAC said for inquiries about property tax bills, the issuing and collecting municipality should be contacted directly.

An emailed statement from MPAC reads: “According to the Condominium Act, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is required to describe a common element condo plan separately by its own roll number, as they are considered parcels. In conjunction with the Assessment Act, a nominal assessment value is applied to these property types (i.e., used for private roads, parks, and other similar spaces) as the value of the property would already be captured in the assessment of the associated freehold properties.”

Despite the township saying they have notified MPAC, it is unclear whether this $0.05 bi-annual property tax bill will eventually be waived.

That means for the year, Kent is expecting property management to pay a grand total of $0.10 in property taxes for the common spaces.

He said, it gives quite a literal meaning to the term nickel-and-diming and hopes his gripe prompts some discussion.

“Hey boss, should we be sending out tax notices for a nickel?” 

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