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.