You and "YOUR" Property Tax Bill -- Your Assessment Notice Is In The Mail

Real Estate Services with My Time Is My Own

Watch Your Mail Box starting today if you live in York Region and Nov 03 if you live in Durham Region The new assessment notices that will be part of the equation in determining your property tax bill in 2009 are in the mail. Notices of re assessment started being sent out for the week of Sept 15th thru till Nov. 17th according to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporations (MPAC) web site 

It is estimated that Provincial property values have risen on average approximately 20% since the last assessment, this increase will be phased in over a four year period resulting in a 5% increase in the Provincial average this year. This does not mean that the average assessed home in a given municipality such as Georgina or Uxbridge will see a 5% increase as it is based on a provincial average and properties likely did not rise in value equally across the province.

A property assessment /tax furor 2 years ago resulted in the provincial government freezing all residential assessments after the release of a scathing report on MPAC by Andre Marin the Ontario Ombudsman.

From an article in the Ottawa Citizen Sept 17.2008
"In 2006, Ontario Ombudsman André Marin issued a scathing report about the property value
assessment system, calling it "unreasonable, unjust, oppressive and wrong." "

They also reported that the Ombudsman said the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is an elitist operation with a "superiority complex."  "

There are many in this Province that agree with those comments and do not believe that the current process for calculating assessments will ever be anything but.

While in principal an increase in the average assessment does not mean an increase in Taxes in reality taxes will go up and you will be hard pressed to hold your elected officials accountable as they will blame the increased assessment and the assessor will say they do not set the Mill (tax) Rate. All you will know for sure is your tax bill will in all likelihood be higher this year than last.

This years assessment notice has been redesigned with the intended purpose of making it easier to understand and provide more information. There is a lot of information on the notice that will help you determine if you want to look into your assessment further perhaps asking for a reconsideration or actually challenging the valuation.

MPAC has added online videos to their web site explaining how MPAC assess property and how to resolve assessment issues.  unfortunately at the time I tried to view them I could not open them using Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Stay Tuned --- I will comment further once I have been able to view the videos and have had a look at some local assessment notices. 

Earlier posts in the series
You and "YOUR" Property Tax Bill -- Mill Rate Idiosyncrasy's
You and "YOUR" Property Tax Bill -- Is Current Value Assessment (CVA) A Better Way? 
You and "YOUR" Property Tax Bill -- Who Takes The Biggest Bite?


It will be interesting to watch what happens to 

 "Your" Property Tax Bill

With  province wide re-assessment taking place
for your 2009 property tax bill.


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Posts on Property Assessment and Taxation are for informational purposes only please read the  CAVEAT


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  1. Kathy Clulow 10/27/2008 10:56 AM
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Comments 8 New Comment

Barrie Clulow
My Time Is My Own

Marg - Have you ever looked into how the assessment is calculated? It is done with regressional analysis and from where I sit only works well in larger/newer developments. I imagine your waterfront property owners might not be too happy with next year's tax bill, I hear rumours that waterfront is going to see a substantial increase but we will have to wait and see if it is fact or not. 

September 23, 2008 05:30 PM
Donne Knudsen
CalState Realty Services
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA

Barrie - I don't live in Canada but rather SoCA but I got that tax notice in my mail a couple of months ago.  Yep, a whopping $80 a year my property taxes went down.  Nevermind that comparable homes are going for less than what I paid for my home five years ago.  Thank you very much Ventura County Tax Assesors office for my whopping $80 a year savings.

September 23, 2008 05:59 PM
Marg Scheben
Edey - Collingwood, Ontario
RE/MAX four seasons realty limited

But Barrie, don't you find the values are often correct or low?  The bottom line in CVA is that it reflects the value as of the assessment date regardless of the discussion of how it was calculated.  The biggest majority by far of assessments I've seen are generally accurate or low and I rarely see ones I think are too high.  Maybe it's a difference in our areas?

September 23, 2008 06:14 PM
Barrie Clulow
My Time Is My Own

Marg - It's not about a given assesment being low or high as long as they are all low or high it's about being lower or higher than comparable properties --- is the assessment fair and equitable --- When you say they are low or accurate I assume you are comparing them to what an actual sale might bring and I agree you will not very often see one that is higher than you might expect it to sell for. But are they fair and equitable one to another obviously not if some are low others are accurate and a few are high. Its about the accuracy and fairness of the process

Having been involved in appeals that have affected entire subdivisions I can tell you they do make mistakes some are not very big and others are astronomical.

One elderly lady who asked if I could help her had her seasonal water only access property assessed as having year round access --- easily fixed but only when we pursued the issue.

Two adjoining subdivisions I was involved with went all the way to the OMB in order to get the assessment department to recognize and adjust the assessments for a closed industrial dump that was affecting values and had not been taken into account in the valuation process. That manner in which the reduction was applied should have made a difference in additional homes that were yet to be built in the same area,

That was after they had reclassified one of the subdivisions to a lower class of construction, as a result of my intervention, resulting in roughly a 5% reduction across the board for that subdivision. One subdivision was brick the other vinyl and they had them assessed the same -- as brick.

September 23, 2008 07:14 PM
Barrie Clulow
My Time Is My Own

Donne - regardless of values going down the county still needs X amount of dollars to operate. Likely the only reason yours went down is that your property went down more than the average home.

September 23, 2008 07:18 PM

Barrie Clulow

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