City must repay Walmart $5 million in taxes

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By Nick Seebruch
City must repay Walmart $5 million in taxes
The Walmart Logistics property on SCM Way (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The City of Cornwall announced on Tuesday, Oct. 8 that it must repay Walmart Canada Corp. $5 million in property taxes for two properties they own in the City of Cornwall.

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), re-assessed the value of 2401 SCM Way and 1501 Industrial Park Dr. in 2016, lowering their values from their 2012 assessment, meaning that the City now owed Walmart money for the 2013-2020 taxation years.

In 2012, MPAC revised the value down of the property at 2401 SCM Way from $97,866,000 to $75,000,000, and again in 2016 from $89,484,000 to $79,000,000.

The property at 1501 Industrial Park Dr. saw its value downgraded by MPAC  from $118,731,000 to $90,500,000 in 2012 and from $127,936,000 to $123,000,000 in 2016.

MPAC assesses the value of all property in the province of Ontario and municipalities must use that assessment when formulating their tax bills, however, property owners may appeal to MPAC if they feel their assessments are inaccurate, which is what was done by Walmart in this case.

The City must repay Walmart $2,070,633 for the 2013-2019 taxation years for the property at SCM Way and $3,318,254 for the property on Industrial Park Dr.

“Following receipt of the appeals, the City of Cornwall anticipated that there would be adjustments to assessment values for both properties and has set aside funds in a Tax Stabilization Reserve to help mitigate the financial impact of both settlements.  Currently, the balance in the Tax Stabilization Reserve is $3,294,085.  The difference of $1,971,666 will be funded from Working Reserves and paid back to Working Reserves over the next several years,” said Tracey Bailey, General Manager, Financial Services and Treasurer.

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