Town to receive $1.7M advance on review of CRL assessment

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Deep River could be on the receiving end of a financial windfall, following the announcement of an agreement between the town, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.

Those three parties issued a joint statement Monday announcing that they have agreed to a review of property assessments at the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL).

“In response to the ongoing revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories campus, including the decommissioning of aging infrastructure and new capital investments, AECL, CNL and the town of Deep River have agreed to an examination of recent assessments of property value for some of the buildings at the AECL-owned site,” the statement said.

“The objective of this evaluation is to provide for a fair valuation of new and renovated facilities at the CRL facilities, as the foundation for updating the payment in lieu of property taxes. The three parties will work together with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation to review assessments.”

Payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) are designed to compensate municipalities in regard to federally owned properties that would be subject to property tax if they were privately owned. Ontario’s Assessment Act states that federal properties are subject to assessment but are exempt from property taxes.

According to the town’s 2020 budget, AECL paid just over $2.5 million in PILT to the town in 2019, plus another $579,000 to the county.

The draft agreement, which is on council’s agenda for Wednesday night, includes payments of $1.7 million over two years ($850,000 each in 2021 and 2022) as an advance on past assessment increases. The amount will be reconciled with the results of the review in 2023.

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