Gatineau budget 2024
New assessment roll shows 71.9% increase in residential property values, Gatineau to increase taxes by 2.9%
Last week, the City of Gatineau discussed the budget for 2024. The executive committee announced their proposal of a 2.9% tax increase. This number is under the inflation rate; however, president of the executive committee Daniel Champagne said “Our proposal: a 2.9% increase in the municipal tax. Why? To ensure fairness. Increasing the burden on our citizens would be too much more. We have looked at each option, but our choice is based on accountability. Yes, we want to improve services, but not at the expense of the ability of our citizens to pay."
Although 2.9% may sound minimal, combined with the abnormally high residential assessment rate, this could cause significant increases in municipal taxes for some Gatineau residents.
The new assessment roll for 2024-2026 shows a 57.32% increase in property value. However, for residential property, the increase is the highest at 71.9%. The average value of single-family home properties is $454,600, compared to $256,000 in the last assessment roll. For condos, the value jumped from $168,900 in the last assessment roll to $306,300 in the new one.
The most significant increases are on the outskirts of the city where prices and values were previously lower. For Aylmer specifically, the increase for residential properties is 73.78%.
“Those who have more expensive properties may see a decrease in taxes, where residents with more affordable homes will see tax increases,” said Champagne during a press conference.
The assessment roll is an inventory of all real estate in the municipality. Each property is evaluated and given a value based on the selling prices of similar properties in similar environments. The evaluation also takes into account the specific characteristics of each property.
Under the Municipal Taxation Act, Gatineau is required to do a reassessment of the roll every three years. Properties must be evaluated 18 months before the new assessment roll comes into effect; in this case, the new roll starts on January 1, 2024. The evaluations therefore reflect the real estate market of July 2022. It’s important to note the significant increase in home prices between 2019 and 2022 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Municipal Taxation Act allows municipalities to spread the values across three years to mitigate the sudden increase and its effect on taxes for residents.
In the opening statements before commencing Gatineau’s 2024 budget, Champagne said “It’s crucial to note that 66% of residents will face important increases due to the new assessment roll. Approximately, 25% of citizens will see their taxes increase by 15% over the next three years, especially properties that were of lower value.”
For some, this increase will translate to hundreds of dollars to pay yearly for their municipal taxes.
Resources for citizens
Residents can consult the city’s website to see their new evaluation https://www3.gatineau.ca/servicesenligne/evaluation/. Residents will also receive a leaflet about the new assessment roll along with their municipal tax bill in February 2024.
Residents who feel that the value presented in the new assessment is not representative of the market can speak with the evaluator at the city’s Evaluation Service and, if there is an error, the evaluator can fix it. If there remains a difference of opinion, citizens can submit a revision request form.
Photo caption: Screenshot of Daniel Champagne, executive committee president and Versant councillor, speaking at the first meeting for the beginning of budget 2024 discussions on October 30.
Photo credit: Screenshot, Sophie Demers