The Province of Ontario mandates that property assessments be conducted every four years for all types of properties (e.g., residential, commercial, industrial) in Ontario. Here are some questions and answers you may find useful.
Q: The assessed value of my property has risen substantially. Does this mean that my property taxes will rise in the same proportion?
A: No it does not. Your assessment increase is not equivalent to a tax increase if any.
Q: Why has my property been reassessed and why have I received a Notice of Property Assessment?
A: The Ontario Assessment Act requires that all property values in Ontario be reassessed every four years by the Municipal Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and that property owners receive written notices of their assessments.
Q: Who is responsible for property assessment in Ontario?
A: MPAC undertakes them on behalf of the Province of Ontario. MPAC’s role is to accurately value and classify all properties in Ontario. The City has no role in property assessments.
Q: How much extra revenue will the City get because of assessment increases?
A: The City of Ottawa does not get any extra revenue as a result of new property assessments. If the budget were to stay the same while property values go up, the tax rate would go down so that the City collects the same amount of money.
Q: What is a Property Assessment?
A: A property assessment is an estimate of the market value of your property on a specific valuation date.
Q: What is it used for?
A: The value of properties determines how the tax burden is shared between property owners. The City of Ottawa will use your property assessment value to calculate your property taxes. The education tax rates, as set by the Province, will also be applied to the assessment value to establish the education portion of your property tax bill.
Q: How does MPAC determine the value of my property?
A: MPAC analyzes real estate market information for similar types of property. For residential properties, they use a sales comparison approach. Generally, for office buildings, they use an income approach and for industrial properties, they use a cost approach. All of MPAC’s assessments consider features such as location, quality of construction, lot dimensions and other features applicable to the type of property.
Q: Why has my property increased in value?
A: To find out why your property has increased in value, contact MPAC toll free at 1-866-296-MPAC (6722).
Q: How much have Ottawa properties increased in value?
A: Residential properties have increased by an average of about 26%, while farm properties increased by an average of about 39%.
Q: How are my property taxes calculated?
A: Property taxes are calculated using this formula:
- Assessed value x municipal property tax rate = amount of municipal property tax
- Assessed value x education tax rate = amount of education property tax
- Municipal property tax + education property tax = your property taxes*
*Please note that, if applicable, other charges such as local improvements, municipal drains or business improvement area charges might be added to your tax bill.
Commercial property taxes are calculated using a similar formula, but are subject to other factors that are applied uniquely to each individual property.
Q: What other factors influence my tax bill?
A: Other factors that influence your tax bill include how the value of your property has changed in relation to the average in that class of properties, Provincial legislation such as capping for commercial and industrial properties, and the City’s annual budget.
Q: What if I don’t agree with my new assessment?
A: If you don’t agree with your new property assessment, there are three things you can do:
Contact the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation toll free at 1 866 296-MPAC (6722) to discuss your assessment with them.
Submit a Request for Reconsideration to MPAC. The form is available on their website at www.mpac.ca or by calling their toll free number at 1-866-296-MPAC (6722). There is no fee for this.
If you are not successful in your filing of the Request for Reconsideration to MPAC or disagree with the results, you can file a more formal Notice of Complaint with the Assessment Review Board (ARB), which requires specific forms and filing fees. You must first file a Request for Reconsideration to MPAC, if your property is classified as residential, farm or managed forest. For any other property types, the filing of the Request for Reconsideration is optional and an appeal can be filed directly to the ARB by March 31 of the tax year. You can get more information about the ARB process by calling their toll free line at 1-800-263-3237, or go to their website at www.arb.gov.on.ca.
Q: Where can I find out more?
A: You can find out more about property assessments on the MPAC Web site at mpac.ca. Learn about how your municipal taxes are calculated on the City’s website.