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Real Estate Watch – Property Tax Assesments Rise as Values Fall

November 12, 2008

For many of you that enjoy the benefits of home ownership or those of you that strive to achieve home ownership property tax assessments are important and often overlooked aspects of home ownership.

In my opinion all home owners should not only be aware of their property’s assessed value, but also realize that they can appeal to have their property re-assessed. No system is perfect and with one organization (MPAC) administering the assessments of all of the real estate in Ontario; this certainly can create problems for some homeowners.

My best advice to everyone is to find out your options. Read your assessment notices thoroughly and seek additional help or assistance if you feel that your property assessment is too high. I think we’d all keep quiet if we thought it was too low.

Please contact me if you have questions or concerns about your property’s assessment or if you just want to know what you can do to appeal your property’s value. It is not as hard as you think.

Ryan Chelak is a registered Real Estate Broker servicing the Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga and Greater Toronto Area. Feel free to contact me for more information.

Tax assessments to rise in 2009

Ontario residential property taxpayers will see an average assessment increase of five per cent in 2009, the first year of a four-year phase-in plan.

“Residential property values have increased by an average of approximately 20 per cent across Ontario since 2005, when the last assessment update was done,” Carl Isenburg, President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), said.

With a four-year phase-in, property taxpayers will see an average assessment increase of five per cent next year.

An increase in assessment does not necessarily mean an increase in property taxes. If the assessed value of a home has increased by the same percentage as the average in the municipality, there might be no increase in the property taxes paid by a property taxpayer.

The phase-in program does not apply to decreases in assessed value. The full amount of a decrease will be applied during the 2009 tax year.

“Our values are based on actual sales and trends in real estate markets across the province,” Isenburg said. Municipalities establish tax rates that are applied to assessed values to pay for local services and the Provincial Government sets rates for the education portion of the tax.

Property Assessment notices began arriving in the homes of property taxpayers in mid-September. MPAC expects the mailings to be completed over a ten-week period.

Notices get a new look:

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) has redesigned the 2008 Property Assessment Notice to make it easier to read and understand. This year’s Property Assessment Notice will include:

  • The assessed value of the property for each of the next four tax years;
  • The percentage by which the property has increased or decreased in value since the last assessment update in 2005 and the average percentage by which properties across the municipality have changed in value;
  • A history of past adjustments, if any, made by MPAC through the Request for Reconsideration process or the Assessment Review Board to the assessed value of the property and whether these are reflected in the current assessment;
  • Details about the property including lot size, square footage, and year of construction used by MPAC to help determine the assessed value of a property;
  • A User ID and Password that can be used to access AboutMyProperty™;
  • The address of the nearest MPAC local office where questions can be answered and concerns addressed in person; and
  • The toll-free phone number for MPAC’s Customer Contact Centre.

A brochure is mailed with each notice. It explains how property owners can determine if their assessment is accurate and, if they feel it is not, what options are available to have it corrected.

Hours will be extended at each of MPAC’s 33 local offices across the province during the notice mailing period this fall, as was done in 2005. For more information, property taxpayers can also call MPAC’s Customer Contact Centre, which can be reached toll-free at 1-866-296-MPAC (6722).

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