Here is a letter I received from a reader that warrants a second look!
I’m a follower of your blog and have found it most helpful in keeping track of what is really happening in South Bruce Peninsula – especially in the run-up to the last election, I might say.
I appreciate that many of your municipal thoughts will be concerned with frivolous legal actions which will have the sole result of adding to our tax bill but there is an ongoing piece of council business that I have not seen mentioned in your blog and may or may not warrant your attention:
Specifically, this concerns the designation as surplus and sale thereof of a number of municipal properties. The best known of these is probably near Deny’s Dam where the ownership has been found to be in some doubt. However there are also several others on that list that are interesting because the “market value” as assessed by Revell is substantially different (lower) than MPAC.
One particular “surplus property” is an island off Red Bay (Revell value: $20,000; MPAC value: $58,000). I made inquires about this and was given a bit of a run around and eventually told that it was sold. Actually, I understand the sale is not final at this time, but is to be approved by SBP Council on Tuesday.
Now, it seems to me that selling an island, even if it is just a lump of rock (growing annually, I would point out), in front of Red Bay is something that should merit some discussion.
From the social point of view, there’s the question of whether those barrier islands should be sold or kept in the public domain.
From the financial point of view, has Revell really done its best to maximise returns to SBP taxpayers in selling an island with minimal, if any, publicity? The original notice of surplussicity was issued late last year (in which the island was misnamed), and the sale is to be confirmed in February. Tricky for potential buyers to view much!
It’s probably too late to do much about this now but it seems to me there is a distinct odour here. What really rang alarm bells for me is that when I went into Revell’s office to ask about this, after being told it was sold, no-one asked if I was interested in looking at other properties in the area. I have never been in a realtor’s office yet where that has not happened!
No Doe Joe!
There are a couple of questions I have to ask!
First and foremost if MPAC values the property at $58,000.00 and it is sold for $20,000.00 then is MPAC wrong and if so then we all are paying way to much in taxes.
Second if indeed the property was worth what MPAC valued it at, then who dropped the ball at city hall??
I have to think that at the very least if property is being sold by the town at the very least there should have been an AACI appraisal done on the property by the town to establish the value before the property is sold.
If it wasn’t appraised by an AACI I challenge the process. As I understand it the listing was offered by the town to the Realtors in the area and Revell was the only one to step up. Revell a great guy but is not and AACI to the best of my knowledge.
The Town has a responsibility to get the best value for the assets they are liquidating. To tell a property at less than half the MPAC value because no one else is interested gives rise to the competency of the people marketing the property and to the competence of the people who accepted the offer without a proper appraisal.
If in the alternative the MPAC evaluation is wrong, we have a problem as this sheds doubt on the whole MPAC methodology.
Market value is the price a property bring in the event of a sale. If MPAC is over valuing properties by 60 to 70 % reassessment of every property is mandatory and will no doubt lead to a huge reduction in the tax base.
Now the third option is that there was a back room deal done to make this deal.
Regardless of which option is chosen an asset has been sold and there are a number of questions left unanswered.
The Newbies elected is where the buck stops. They are the people that have completed the deal! The Civil Servants that made the recommendation to accept the offer are in my mind either on solid ground or in the alternative the instigators of a fraud. Supporting an offer that is either undervalued or supporting a tax system that over values.
Godda wonder who is who in the zoo!!