Archives for April 2016

Paying too much Property Tax?

IF YOU HAVE RECENTLY RECEIVED YOUR 2016 MPAC TAX ASSESSMENT 

READING THIS  COULD SAVE YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!

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Every four years MPAC sends out a province wide property assessment notice to each property owner in Ontario. The last provincial wide notice was sent out in the fall of 2012 and MPAC is in the process of rolling out the 2016 assessment notice to Ontario homeowners. Lanark County notices will be mailed out April 11th and Ottawa residents will receive their notices starting July 18th.

Ontario homeowners can expect the value of their property to have risen an average of 18 per cent when they get their new assessments as MPAC data shows values rose an average of 4.5 per cent in each of the past four years.

All MPAC assessments are currently based on a January 1, 2016 valuation date. When calculating your new value any increases are phased in over four years using an average market increase in assessed value between January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2016. The full value of a decrease is not phased in but takes effect immediately. The phased-in values for your property should be specified on your Property Assessment Notice.

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I DISAGREE WITH MPAC ASSESSED VALUE OF MY PROPERTY HOW CAN I APPEAL?

If you believe that your tax evaluation is too high you can use MPACs free MyProperty tool to understand how and why your property was assessed the way it was.

You will need your Roll number and Access key located on your Property Assessment Notice to register.

You can register and access the tool by going to: https://www.aboutmyproperty.ca/

Investigate and note the following:

  • Is the assessed value of the property different than similar properties in your neighbourhood?
  • Has the property been incorrectly classified?
  • Is a person wrongly placed on or left off the assessment roll;
  • Is the school support listed correctly?
  • Are other records listed correct? (e.g., wrong lot size, building area)
  • Was the property purchased close to the valuation date for a significantly different amount than the assessed value?
  • Is the value, classification or effective date on the Property Assessment Change Notice or Amended Notice listed correctly?
  • Are there factors that negatively impact the property’s current value, which may not be reflected in the current value assessment (e.g., adjacent buildings which effect value such as rentals or industrial buildings.)

If you feel that your evaluation is incorrect your next step is to contact MPAC and to request the Comparable Properties Report that was used to determine your property value. This report will contain the homes which MPAC picked as the most comparable to yours.

85% of your valuation is based on five key factors.

  1. Location
  2. Lot Dimensions
  3. Living Area
  4. Age of Structure (adjusted for additions or major renovations)
  5. Quality of construction

Rate and take notes on how your home is similar and different from the compared homes using these key factors as a guide.

Perhaps the assessed values used similar type homes but it could be argued they are located in a more desirable location or the comparable properties are on larger lots or have been renovated.

If you recently purchased or renovated your home or secured a new mortgage it is likely the mortgage lender had an appraisal done on your property.  Contact your lender and ask them for a copy of the report.

I can also provide you with a CMA – a Comparative Market Analysis report of similar properties that had recently sold in your neighbourhood.

Both the appraisal and CMA will include comparable properties, photos and the estimated value. If the MPAC value has a higher valuation you can use these reports to help make your case for a reassessment.

To challenge your tax assessment value you need to apply for a ‘Request for Reconsideration’.

The deadline to submit a Request for Reconsideration is 120 days from the issuance date printed on the Property Assessment Notice and this deadline date should be noted on your assessment. The property owner may file an RfR every year if he/she chooses to do so. For non-assessment years the deadline to file must be done prior to March 31st.

There are multiple ways to initiate a Request for Reconsideration:

If writing a letter, please include the 19-digit roll number included on the Property Assessment Notice, the property owner’s full name, address and phone number and the reasons why the assessment may be incorrect. Make sure to include as many reasons as possible as to why your assessment should be lower and key in on the 5 key factors listed above. Also included copies of your home appraisal, CMA and even photos of your neighbourhood.

QUICK STEPS TO APPEAL YOUR MPAC TAX ASSESMENT

  1. Compare your assessed value with similar properties in your neighbourhood to determine if it’s overvalued.
  2. Visit AboutMyProperty.ca to learn more about your property assessment.
  3. Request the Comparable Properties Report from MPAC.
  4. Request your home appraisal from your lender and request a report of similar properties that have recently sold from your real estate agent. (Call Chantal at 613-371-6024 for this free Market report)
  5. When filing your Request for Reconsideration, include compelling reasons and supporting documentation, such as recent home appraisals, sales information of comparable properties, photos, zoning information and estimates for significant repairs.

Some other features that may affect value include:

  • finished basements;
  • garages;
  • pools;
  • fireplaces;
  • number of bathrooms; and
  • the type of heating and air conditioning.

Site features can also increase or decrease the assessed value of your property, such as:

  • traffic patterns;
  • being situated on a corner lot; and
  • Proximity to a golf course, hydro corridor, railway, green space…etc.

The Request for Reconsideration must be filed by the owner, the person who has received the property assessment. There is no fee for filing a Request for Reconsideration (RfR) with MPAC. Filing an appeal can be time-consuming, but well worth it.
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