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Many residents complain that taxes in Cobourg are high and compared to Toronto they are. This page will not make a case for lower taxes but will simply report on what they are.

The mechanism:

The Town of Cobourg collects taxes for itself plus the County and the School Board. They are then billed and expected to be paid in three installments although if you elect to pay via automatic installments from your bank, it can be in 10 approximately equal amounts.

The first invoice in late February is one third of the previous year’s taxes.  This is called an interim payment since the levy amount is not yet known. The next one in May bills the balance to be paid in an installment in early June and the final installment in September – although you can pay the full remaining amount if you prefer.

Tax calculation

The Provincially operated MPAC decides a valuation for each property and separately, the Town and County decide how much money they want to raise with their tax levy.  In time to decide the final tax rate, MPAC calculates what the average valuation for Cobourg will be and that valuation is used to calculate what the tax rate should be to raise the amount needed/wanted.  For 2024, the residential rates are:

Town County Education Total
0.0098727 0.0056122 0.0015300 0.0170149


So for a property valued at the average MPAC valuation of $278,814, the tax will be $278,814 x .0170149 = $4,744.  Note that although the MPAC valuations are intended to be realistic, that is not always true.  See the page with the latest market values here (hint - in 2024 the average sell price is much larger than MPAC's average valuation).  MPAC mails property owners notifications of any changes.

Note: If the MPAC valuation changes, it may not affect the tax you pay.  What matters is your valuation relative to the valuation of everyone else.  MPAC valuations determine how taxes are distributed since the Town, County and School board adjust their tax rates so that the average valuation produces the required dollar amount.  A big adjustment applied to everyone with relative valuations unchanged will not change your tax bill.  To complicate matters, MPAC had put any adjustment on hold while we had the Covid pandemic - that is for the 2022 and 2023 years.

Tax Increase

IF (a big if) the MPAC valuation of your property increases by the same amount as the AVERAGE increase for all Cobourg properties, then your annual increase will be the same as what Council announces as the tax increase. If your valuation is higher or lower than the average MPAC increase, then your taxes will increase by more (if higher) and may even go down (if significantly lower).

Growth

Each year, the population and number of properties grows in Cobourg and MPAC provides an estimate of what that will be.  Since these extra properties will be taxed, this growth amount provides additional tax revenue.  So when the Town calculates what the tax levy should be to get the required revenue, the growth amount is taken into account.  For example: if the budget increases by 5% and the growth is 2% then the tax levy need only increase by 3% to get the required 5% additonal revenue.

Where do your taxes go?

Here are the major amounts per month of Cobourg's spending for 2024 (does not include County or School Board)

Service Cost per Month  
Governance and Administration $30.75
Protection - Police  $52.42
Fire $34.67
Engineering and Roads  $25.67
Parks Maintenance $22.42
Recreation  $14.08
Transit $8.25
Victoria Hall and Concert Hall  $9.67
Library $7.75

Total amount charged per month to average taxpayer for all of Cobourg's services = $229.43 or $2,753 per year. (This information taken from Town's 2024 Tax Information supplied with tax bill.)  Note that added to your total bill are the County and School board taxes.  The town's taxes in 2024 were 58% of the total.

What this shows is that, for example, the average taxpayer pays $52.42/month for Police Protection and $8.25 per month to subsidize Transit.

The Town provides Financial Statements on this page.

Statements for 2017 through 2022 are currently provided.

Major services provided by the County include garbage collection, County roads and bridges, paramedic services, welfare services, subsidized housing and the Golden Plough Lodge. 

More on the County here.

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