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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About your Tax Bill


Q. Why does the City Issue Interim Tax Bills?

A. The municipality needs to issue an interim tax bill in February because of financial obligations that must be met prior to the approval of the yearly budget. To meet these obligations, interim tax bills are issued that is approximately 50% of the previous  year's final tax bill.

QHow to Calculate Your Interim Tax Bill.

A. Your interim residential tax bill is based on 50% of the previous year's final tax bill.  To calculate your 2017 interim tax bill, we have to do 2 things.

  1. Multiply the assessed value of your property as provided by MPAC for 2016 taxation year by the 2017 interim tax rates,and then compare that amount to your 2016 final tax bill.
  2. If the amount calculated is more than 50% of your 2016 bill, an adjustment will be applied to reduce the amount to ensure your bill is not more than 50% of your 2016 final bill.

Q. When is the Interim Bill Due?

A. The interim tax bill is issued in February with two instalments due the last business day in March and April.  If payment is not received by the respective due date, a penalty of 1.25% (15% per annum) is calculated on the outstanding taxes and added to those taxes on the 1st day of each month.


Q. Final Tax Bills.

A. The amount of property tax owing on your land and/or building is the result of a calculation based on the following four factors:

  • the current value assessment of your property as determined by MPAC
  • the tax class into which your property falls into
  • the tax rate for that class (set annually by City Council)
  • the tax rate for education (school support) portion for that class (set annually by the Province of Ontario)

The municipality will issue final tax bills for the current year in late June once all the applicable tax rates are known.  The final tax levy is billed in two instalments normally, being the last business day in July and August.


Q. How to Calculate Your Final Tax Bill.

A. The final tax billing reflects the new tax rates determined by Council in support of its annual budget along with the education rate set by the Province, less the amount billed on the interim tax bill.

          C.V.A. *  x  2017 Applicable Tax Rate  -  2017 Interim Taxes  =  Tax Amount
          * = Current Value Assessment

          Municipal property tax + education property tax = your property taxes*

* Please note that, if applicable, other charges such as local improvements, sewer lateral loans or business area improvement charges might be added to the tax bill.


Q. How is a Property Assessed?

A. Property tax is based on the current market value of properties using a common fixed valuation date.  When fairly assessed, similar properties located in a similar area will be assessed at a similar rate resulting in the payment of similar taxes.


Q. How Assessments are Done?

A. To establish your property's assessed value, Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) analyzes property sales in your area.  These sales provide a basis for the assessed values of similar properties.  MPAC continually collects information about properties to ensure that those with similar features (age, size, location, construction, etc.) have similar assessed values.  This method is known as Current Value Assessment.


Q.      Who can I call regarding property assessment?

A.      The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is responsible for assessing all property in Ontario.  Its main responsibility is to calculate assessment values and to classify properties according to their use.  These values are provided to the municipality on an annual assessment roll.  Any questions regarding your assessed value should be directed to MPAC, 1-866-296-6722.

Q. How do I change my school support?

A. Fill in the form at the following link:

Request for Occupant Information Form

or contact
Municipal Property Assessment Corporation
P.O Box 9808
Toronto, Ontario
M1S 5T9

Q.      What is a general assessment?

A.       A reassessment is the process to update the assessed values of all properties in a municipality to a fixed valuation date. 


Q.      How are payments applied when my account is in arrears?

A.      Payments are applied to interest and taxes starting with the oldest interest and taxes and then to current interest and taxes.


Q.      How are my interim tax billing arrived at?

A.       The interim tax bill shall not exceed 50% of the previous year's total taxes for both municipal and education purposes.


Q.      What is a vacancy rebate?

A.      A vacancy rebate is a pro-rated rebate of property tax available to commercial and/or industrial ratepayers who are not using or unable to use all or a portion of their business property for a period of at least 90 consecutive days.  See the section on Tax Rebate Programs - Vacancy Rebate for further information.


Q.      What is a supplementary tax bill?

A.       A supplementary tax bill may be issued as we receive information that changes the assessed value or the tax class of a property.  An example would be the completed building of a new home.  The taxes billed prior to the building of the home are generally for the land only.  When we are advised by MPAC, a supplementary tax bill will be created to reflect the amount of taxes for the "new residential unit" portion of the property.  A supplementary tax bill is usually due in one instalment.


Q.       Who do I notify for a change to my mailing address or change of ownership?

A.       Mailing address changes or change in ownership can be submitted in writing by fax to (613) 932-9899 or by mail to:City of Cornwall - Billing and Collection Services, 360 Pitt Street, Cornwall ON  K6H 5T9.  Mailing address changes can also be dropped off in the 24 hour depository box located at the entrance of our building, 360 Pitt Street. A change of ownership or address change form is available in the section called Change in Ownership.


Q.      What is the penalty for late tax or water/sewer payments, and when is it added on?

A.      The penalty charged for late tax or water/sewer payments is 1.25 % per month on the unpaid balance.  It is added on the day after the instalment due date, and the first of each month thereafter if still unpaid.


Q.      What is the charge for a tax certificate, and where do I send the request?

A.      The fee for a tax certificate is $45.00 per property.  Requests for tax certificates should be submitted in writing to:

           City of Cornwall - Billing and Collection Services, 
           360 Pitt Street
           Cornwall ON  K6H 5T9
           Attention:  Clerk 1 - Billing & Collection.

           Requests can also be faxed to (613) 932-9899.