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Staff look to add unique cannabis-related position in Smiths Falls

by | May 14, 2019 | Local News | 0 comments

Town Staff are recommending that Smiths Falls hire a property assessment and taxation expert to represent the town’s interests with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) as it starts to formulate how it will classify and assess Cannabis operations.

“The cannabis industry obviously is very new in it’s current form, and we’re seeing a burgeoning business which has  a lot of different facets to it,” said Mayor Shawn Pankow.

At present, MPAC classifies Cannabis operations as both industrial and agricultural.  Those two classes however are assessed at completely different rates, with Agricultural operations assessed at one tenth of industrial operations according to CAO Malcolm Morris.

As Pankow points out, Smiths Falls has more at stake in this business than any other community in the country.

“We think it’s very important that we have someone hired that can represent us and certainly ensure that MPAC is properly evaluating this business and all the various facets of this business,” said Pankow.

The town is planning to hire CYNell to help navigate these new waters. The firm is led by Carla Nell, a recognized expert in the property taxation field.

“We want tax stability and predictability, so we want to ensure that tax assessments and classifications reflect the new reality,” said Morris, adding “It’s a wonderful opportunity for collaboration between host municipalities, Cannabis producers and MPAC.”

Committee members unanimously agreed that a proactive approach was preferable to waiting for the chips to fall.

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