No increase for most P.E.I. property tax assessments in 2016
Property assessments mailed to homeowners in early May
Prince Edward Island experienced negative inflation for 2015. That means there'll be no increase in most property tax assessments for 2016.
That will come as good news for most Island homeowners, but will make it more challenging for the P.E.I. government to move ahead with plans to table a balanced budget later this spring.
According to Statistics Canada, the consumer price index on P.E.I. fell by 0.6 per cent in 2015. Most years, property tax assessments, and by extension the property taxes paid by Island homeowners, increase according to the CPI recorded the year before.
But according to P.E.I.'s Real Property Tax Act, there's no change in assessment values after years where CPI goes down. There could still be assessment increases for owners who make improvements to their homes.
P.E.I. and Whitehorse, Yukon were the only jurisdictions where the consumer price index dropped in 2015. Statistics Canada says shelter prices on P.E.I. dropped 2.5 per cent in 2015, while increasing 1.1 per cent across the country.
Clothing prices also dropped on the Island, while the transportation index (including gasoline prices) dropped 5.7 per cent in the province, almost twice as much as it dropped across the rest of country.
The lack of increase in assessments will affect government revenues for the fiscal year that began April 1, 2016.
For the fiscal year that ended on March 31, the P.E.I. government is estimating to take in $111.5 M in property taxes. That's an increase of 2.4 per cent over the previous year.
Property tax assessments are mailed to homeowners in early May.
The last time CPI dropped in the province was in 2009.