GREATER TORONTO – With Halton residents’ notices having been mailed out on June 27, most homeowners in the GTA should already have received their 2016 Property Assessment Notice from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MCAP).
When it comes to real estate, this is one of the most important documents in the province – as it is used by municipalities to calculate each homeowner’s property tax rate for the next four years.
To help new homeowners better understand their assessments and the role they play, we decided to do a quick Q&A.
Q: If my property’s assessed value has gone up, will I pay more property tax?
A: Not necessarily. As summed up in this helpful press release from the City of Markham, changes to your property tax will be based on your property’s value increase relative to the average in your municipality. That means that between 2012 and 2016:
- If your property value increased less than the city average, you will enjoy a lower property tax rate, taking effect at the start of 2017.
- If your property value increased at the same pace as the city average, there will be no change.
- If your property value increased at a higher pace than the average, you’ll be paying a higher rate of property tax, but it will be phased in gradually between 2017 and 2020.
Q: I feel that my property wasn’t assessed accurately. What are my options?
You have the option of sending MPAC a Request for Reconsideration, free of charge, as long as you do so before the deadline indicated on your assessment package. Within a period of 240 days, MPAC will review your Request and determine whether or not they agree that the assessment should be adjusted. As a part of this process, they may follow up with you to get more information on your concerns.
If MPAC disagrees with your Request and does not adjust their assessment, there is one remaining option: an appeal to the Assessment Review Board. More details on that process can be found here.
Q: If I’m satisfied with my assessment, is there any action required on my part?
Property tax is not paid to MPAC. The amount you owe will be sent later by your municipality, along with instructions on how to pay. Therefore, you don’t need to follow up on your assessment – although MPAC does recommend filing it away for future reference.
If you have questions about your assessment, you are encouraged to contact MCAP’s Customer Contact Centre, who will assist you free of charge.
Q: If I’m planning to sell my home in the future, will this assessment affect the price I’m able to ask?
While MCAP assessment updates are issued every four years, the real estate market changes constantly. Therefore it’s always a good idea to get in touch with a licensed sales representative, who will be happy to discuss the various other factors that may affect your home’s current market value.