Higher property assessment…but does this mean higher taxes? Not necessarily.

Ontario property owners may be in for a shock as they receive their new property assessment notice with an average increase of 4.5% phased-in over the next four years. This is after a report was released by the Ontario Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) that property values have risen 18% since 2008.

“Our values reflect local real estate markets and confirm that most homeowners in the province have seen the value of their homes increase over the last four years,” said Larry Hummel, MPAC’s chief assessor.

How high property taxes will climb won’t be known until the spring, when the new budgets and the property assessments are discussed. The last time properties were assessed was in 2008, when a two-year government freeze on tax assessments was lifted.

Although this may mean a property tax increase for some home owners, it may not necessarily be the case for everyone. The assessed value are based on what a property would have sold for on January 1, 2012. If a home has risen by the same percentage as the average in a given municipality, there may not be an increase in taxes. If the assessed value of the home is higher than the average, then the difference in the increase will be phased-in over the four years. Owners can check the accuracy of the assessment at www.aboutmyproperty.ca which allows owners to compare values in their neighbourhood.

“Property owners should ask themselves if they could have sold their property for its assessed value on Jan. 1, 2012. If the answer is yes, then their assessment is accurate. If not, we are committed to working with them to get it right,” Hummel said.

Additional questions? Feel free to contact me.

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