What is property assessment?
“Property assessment” is the process in which a current, fair, up to date dollar value is established for your property. Property assessment in Ontario is the responsibility of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation – or MPAC, as it is commonly abbreviated. MPAC is a corporation formed by the Government of Ontario in 1998, and this non-for-profit company provides municipalities across Ontario with property assessment services – every property in Ontario is assessed by MPAC. The data MPAC provides is critical to Norfolk County for the process of calculating your property taxes.
How is a property assessment done?
To determine a property value, MPAC collects data about property sales in the area surrounding each property. The sales data that is collected provides the basis for assessed values – MPAC is always collecting and analysing this information to ensure fair values are established. Properties are compared to one another – for example, properties with similar features like lot dimensions, location, and age are analysed to ensure that that the assessed values are a fair representation.
Re-assessment occurs every four (4) years. The tax years 2009 through 2012 for example, have an effective valuation date of January 1st, 2008. Any increase in property value is phased in over each 4-year period, while a reduction in property value is realized immediately.
If you have questions or concerns regarding assessment, or to appeal your assessment, please contact MPAC directly at:
S. 357 Reduction in Assessment
APPLICATION S. 357 FOR REDUCTION IN ASSESSMENT
Section 357 of the Municipal Act, 2001 (Act) provides that upon the recommendation of the Treasurer, Council may cancel, reduce or refund taxes levied on land, upon application by the property owners for the following reasons:
- Change in event / class during the year.
- Land has become vacant during the year or during the preceding year.
- Land has become exempt because it has been acquired by the Crown in right of Ontario or Canada.
- A building on the land was destroyed or damaged during the year or proceeding year.
- The destruction or damage of a building which did not occur as a result of a voluntary act.
- A building could not be used for substantially the same purpose after the destruction or damage that it was for before the destruction or damage.
- A mobile unit on the land was removed from the local municipality during the year or during the preceding year.
- A person who was overcharged due to a gross or manifest error that is clerical or factual in nature.
- Repairs or renovations to the land prevented the normal use of the land for a period of at least three months during the year.
Section 358 of the Act provides that applicants may apply for a reduction in taxes levied on land as the result of a gross manifest error in the preparation of the assessment roll that is clerical or factual in nature, including the transposition of figures, a typographical error or similar errors, but not an error in judgement in assessing the property.
The following process is followed for reviewing and processing applications received for the cancellation, refund, and reduction of taxes:
- An application may only be made by the owner of the land or by another person who has an interest in the land, or a tenant/occupant, or the spouse of the owner.
- An application under this section must be filed with the Treasurer on or before February 28 of the following year in respect of which the application is made.
- Applications are then forwarded on to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation for their recommendation of assessment reduction.
- The recommended tax write-off is calculated based on the assessment reduction multiplied by the applicable tax rate.
- Council holds a Public Meeting, at which time the applicants may make representation to Council regarding the recommended tax write off.
- Applicants must be notified fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the public meeting.
- At the conclusion of the public meeting, Council must make a decision with respect to the amount of tax write off.
- Applicants must be notified within fourteen (14) days of Council’s decision.
- Applicants have 35 days to appeal to the Assessment Review Board if they do not agree with Council’s decision.
For a copy of the form please see the following PDF file. Applications must be filed with the Treasurer on or before February 28th of the year following the year in respect of which the application is made.