2012 Municipal Property Assessment
Ward 3 residents may have already received their 2012 Property Assessment Notice in the mail, and I would like to take a minute to explain the process.
This fall, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (“MPAC”) mailed a Property Assessment Notice (“Notice”) to every property owner in Ontario. The Notice provides the classification and updated assessed value for your property based on a valuation date of January 1, 2012.
MPAC hasn’t conducted a province-wide Assessment Update in four years, with the last legislated valuation date being January 1, 2008. Your 2008 assessed valued is also included on your Notice but do not be surprised if your current (2012) value is not the same as your 2008 value. You may see a new figure if yourproperty has changed in certain ways that affect your property value (see below, “How MPAC Assesses Properties”, for examples changes that affect value).
MPAC’s role is to value and to classify properties Ontario in accordance with the Assessment Act. MPAC currently assesses and classifies nearly 5 million properties, more than any other assessment jurisdiction in North America, with an estimated total value of more than $1.8 trillion. When the Municipality sets its propertytax rates, your assessed value and classification are used to determine your tax rate. An increase in yourassessment by MPAC, however, does not necessarily mean that your property taxes will increase. Please also note that any increase in your assessed value will be phased in over four years, from 2013 to 2016.
How MPAC Assesses Properties
MPAC values most properties using the direct comparison approach; an approach which analyzes property sales in your area. MPAC looks at all of the key features that affect market value in conducting the assessment, and the five major factors accounting for 85% of the value when assessing residential properties are:
2. Lot Size
3. Living Area
4. Age of Structure, adjusted for any major renovations or additions
5. Quality of Construction
Other features that may affect a residential property’s value include fireplaces, garages and workshops and the number of bathrooms.
In rural and semi-urban areas, lot services such as hydro, water and sanitary/septic services can increase or decrease the assessed value.
In urban areas, features such as traffic patterns, being on a “corner lot”, proximity to a golf course, hydro corridor or railway line can similarly increase or decrease the assess value of your property. Proximity to a newly-built trash incinerator would also likely have a downward effect on your property valuation, but it’s important to remember that your current 2012 valuation will remain in effect until the 2016 tax year. As such, residents living in close proximity to the Clarington garbage burner will not see any change in assessedproperty value for at least four years.
Is Your Assessment Accurate?
If you want to check the accuracy of your Notice, you can compare your assessment to similar properties in your area online, free of charge. Simply enter your Roll number and personalized Access key included on your2012 Notice to log in to “AboutMyProperty” online at www.aboutmyproperty.ca. You will then have access to detailed information about your property and information on up to twenty-four (24) additional properties of your choice. You can also obtain detailed information about six (6) properties MPAC believes are comparable to yours by sending a written request to:
MPAC, Attention: GRAD
P.O. Box 9808
Toronto, ON, M1S 5T9
Fax (toll-free) 1-866-297-6703
What To Do if You Don’t Agree with Your Assessment
If you disagree with the assessed value or you think the property classification is not correct, MPAC will review your assessment free of charge. The deadline for filing a Request for Reconsideration (“RFR”) is April 1, 2013.
You may file your Request For Reconsider two ways:
Method 1: Submit your RFR form online at www.aboutmyproperty.ca. You can attach documents, pictures and reports. Alternatively, you can mail or fax the RFR to MPAC. The RFR form is available on the MPAc website at www.mpac.ca or you can request a form by telephone: 1-866-296-6722.
Method 2: Write a letter requesting consideration. Include the 19-digit Roll number from your Notice, your full name, address, phone number and the reasons why you feel your assessment is incorrect. Be sure to include any information you have to support your claim.
A final option that you have is to file an appeal with the “ARB”, an independent tribunal of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. At an ARB hearing, MPAC must prove the accuracy of the assessed value of your home while you must prove why the assessment is wrong. Both MPAC and you will be asked to provide evidence to support your positions. As a tip, you should select properties that are similar to yours with respect to the five (5) factors described above in “How MPAC Assesses Properties”.
Questions about Property Assessment Notices and assessment in general can be directed to MPAC’s website at www.mpac.ca or to MPAC’s Customer Contact Centre at
1-866-296-MPAC (6722) or 1-877-889-6722 (TTY)