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Property Assessment

The assessment of all property in Ontario is carried out by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). The current value assessment, or CVA, of a property is an estimate of the market value of a property at a fixed point in time (the valuation date), or the amount the property would sell for in an open market on a given date (i.e., in an arm's length sale between a willing buyer and a willing seller).

The Assessment Act provides for a four-year assessment update cycle. The current cycle began in 2017 and is continuing through 2020, with property assessment values based on a January 1, 2016 valuation date (i.e., the full CVA of a property will reflect an estimated market value as at January 1, 2016).

The next assessment update was scheduled to take place in 2020 for taxation years 2021-2024, and have property assessment values based on a January 1, 2019 valuation date (i.e., the full CVA of a property will reflect an estimated market value as at January 1, 2019); however this has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The 2020 assessment values will be used for the 2021 taxation year.

The Assessment Cycle chart below provides the valuation dates used for each taxation year from 1998 through 2024.

Taxation Year Valuation Date
1998, 1999, 2000 June 30, 1996
2001, 2002 June 30, 1999
2003 June 30, 2001
2004, 2005 June 30, 2003
2006, 2007, 2008 January 1, 2005
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 January 1, 2008
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 January 1, 2012
2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 January 1, 2016
**2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 January 1, 2019
** Postponed due to COVID-19  

 

Market value assessment increases between the two valuation dates are phased-in over four years for all property classes, with one-quarter of the assessment change being applied in each of the four years.

Assessment decreases are not subject to phase-in and are implemented immediately. Properties experiencing a decrease in CVA due to the reassessment will therefore benefit from the full reduction in the taxation year in which the decision is finalized.

The Province, in introducing the phase-in of assessment increases, has stated that the new system will provide a greater level of stability for property owners, and will help to smooth out market value increases and provide a more gradual move to the new assessment level. Taxpayers will now be able to better plan for changes in their assessments, given the element of predictability in property assessments. By extending the phase-in provisions to all property classes, business taxpayers benefit from the same increased stability and predictability that the phase-in provides homeowners, and equity and consistency between different property types is maintained.

ases between the two valuation dates are phased-in over four years for all property classes, with one-quarter of the assessment change being applied in each of the four years.

Assessment decreases are not subject to phase-in and are implemented immediately. Properties experiencing a decrease in CVA due to the reassessment will therefore benefit from the full reduction in the taxation year in which the decision is finalized.

The Province, in introducing the phase-in of assessment increases, has stated that the new system will provide a greater level of stability for property owners, and will help to smooth out market value increases and provide a more gradual move to the new assessment level. Taxpayers will now be able to better plan for changes in their assessments, given the element of predictability in property assessments. By extending the phase-in provisions to all property classes, business taxpayers benefit from the same increased stability and predictability that the phase-in provides homeowners, and equity and consistency between different property types is maintained.

In 2016, MPAC mailed "Property Assessment Notices for the 2017 - 2020 property tax years", which advised property owners of the current assessed value of their property based on a January 1, 2016 valuation date, the previous CVA value (based on a January 1, 2012 valuation date), the annual phase-in amount, and the phased-in CVA values that would be used for taxation in each of 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. The phased-in values provided on the Property Assessment Notice are based on the assumption that the property's assessment will not change over the four-year phase-in period.

**In 2020, between May and September MPAC will be mailing "Property Assessment Notices for the 2021 - 2024 property tax years", advising owners of the new current assessed value of their property based on a January 1, 2019 valuation date. These phased-in CVA values will be used for taxation in the 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 tax years.

** Due to COVID-19 MPAC has postponed this process.  2021 taxes will be based on the 2020 assessment value. 

It is important for property owners to review their Property Assessment Notice carefully. If there are errors in the notice, contact MPAC directly to have them corrected.

If a property owner disagrees with the value of the CVA, they must file a Request for Reconsideration with MPAC. Visit Assessment Appeals or MPAC for important information and deadlines.

Where a property undergoes a change in CVA during the four-year phase-in period, either due to improvements to the property (e.g. new construction or renovations), demolition, or revisions to the CVA due to assessment appeals or Requests for Reconsideration, the phased-in assessment amount used for taxation in the current and/or subsequent years will change. Where a property has undergone such a change, MPAC will advise property owners and the City of the revised "destination" CVA, and the revised phase-in CVA value to be used for taxation in that year.

Where assessment appeals or Requests for Reconsideration result in changes to the "destination assessment" (the CVA based on the valuation date of the cycle), MPAC must calculate revised phase-in amounts for any applicable taxation years. Assessment appeal changes only apply to the taxation year under appeal and/or future years, but not retroactively to years where no appeal was made.

For additional information about assessment, the assessment appeal process or to obtain a Request for Reconsideration form, call MPAC at 1-866-296-MPAC (6722) or visit www.mpac.ca.

Information about the ARB process and filing fees are available by calling the ARB at 1-800-263-3237 or visiting www.arb.gov.on.ca.

An apportionment is a process of redistributing assessment values and taxes when land is severed or consolidated. A severance is the splitting of a parcel of land into two or more parcels of land. A consolidation is the combining of two or more parcels with the same ownership and adjoining boundaries into one parcel.

When the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is advised of a severance through a legal conveyance of the land, an apportionment is initiated.

MPAC is responsible for apportioning the assessed value of the original property to the newly created properties for the year in which a severance or consolidation occurs and any subsequent year in which the assessment roll did not reflect the newly created properties. The assessed values on the newly created properties represent their portion of the assessed value of the original property. The apportioned assessed values may not reflect the current value assessment of the new properties had they been assessed individually.

For years subsequent to the apportionment, the new properties are assessed individually and taxed based on their current value assessment.

If you believe that your assessment is incorrect, you should first contact MPAC to discuss your assessment or verify details about your property. If you still have concerns, you may ask MPAC for a formal reconsideration of your assessment. There are no fees for a Request for Reconsideration (RFR). The request must be filed by March 31st for the current taxation year or 90 days after receiving a supplementary or omitted assessment notice. You can obtain an RFR application on the MPAC website or by calling MPAC's toll free number, 1-866-296-6722.

Filing an RFR is a mandatory first step for residential property owners. MPAC must respond by September 30th of the year or within 180 days for supplementary and omitted assessment appeals. If you disagree with MPAC's decision, you may file an appeal with the Assessment Review Board (ARB).

If you wish to file an appeal with the ARB, you must pay the appropriate fee and remit the form within 90 days of receiving your RFR decision. If you are a business property owner (commerical, industrial, or multi-residential) you have the option of foregoing the reconsideration process and appealing directly to the ARB of which the deadline is March 31st in the current taxation year. Full details on how to appeal your assessment to the ARB may be obtained through their website at www.arb.gov.on.ca.

A tax account is only adjusted when the City is notified of the change in assessment by MPAC or the ARB. It is recommended that taxes continue to be paid while an appeal or reconsideration is underway to avoid penalty and interest charges in the event that the appeal or reconsideration is not successful. There may be a significant delay between the time which an assessment is appealed and a decision is rendered.

As taxes are a lien on property, adjustments resulting from appeals are applied to the property tax account at the time of determination. If you have an outstanding reconsideration or appeal, and are selling your property, please ensure that your lawyer makes provision for readjustment of taxes subsequent to your closing date.

The Assessment Review Board (ARB) is an independent tribunal whose main function is to hear appeals from people who believe that properties are incorrectly assessed or classified. The Board also deals with some property tax appeals.

The Board holds hearings across the province. During a hearing, persons who have filed an appeal with the Board, or their representatives have the opportunity to explain their positions to the Board.

Filing an Appeal

If you disagree with your Property Assessment Notice from MPAC you may file an assessment appeal. If you are disputing your tax bill, you may file a tax appeal.

Assessment Appeals (appeals made under sections 32, 33, 34 or 40 of the Assessment Act)

Your Property Assessment Notice may be for your annual assessment, or a supplementary or omitted assessment (assessment change), or a correction of factual error assessment (amended assessment). The appeal process for all types of assessment appeals is similar.

If your property or a portion of it is classified as residential, farm, managed forest or conservation land you MUST:

  1. File a Request for Reconsideration (RFR) with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) first.
  2. Receive the RFR decision BEFORE filing an appeal with the ARB.
  3. File your appeal before the deadline, which is 90 days from the mailing date on your RFR decision.

For all other property types, you may choose to either file a RFR with MPAC or file an appeal directly with the Board. If you do not file a RFR, your deadline to file directly with the ARB is March 31, for annual assessment appeals or 90 days from the notice date for other types of assessments.

Before filing your appeal, please make sure you have your Property Assessment Notice and/or your RFR decision from MPAC.

For further information please go to the ARB's website www.arb.gov.on.ca.

On December 31, 1998, the Government of Ontario transferred responsibility for property assessment from the Ministry of Finance to the Ontario Property Assessment Corporation, an independent body established by the Ontario Property Assessment Corporation Act, 1997.

Amendments to the Act in 2001 changed the composition of the Board of Directors and renamed the organization to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).

Every municipality in Ontario is a member of MPAC, a non-share capital, not-for-profit corporation whose main responsibility is to provide its customers - property owners, tenants, municipalities and government and business stakeholders - with consistent and accurate property assessments.

MPAC is accountable to the public through a 15-member Board of Directors. Eight members of the Board are municipal representatives; five members represent property taxpayers; and two members represent provincial interests. The Minister of Finance appoints all members to the board.

MPAC administers a uniform, province-wide property assessment system based on current value assessment in accordance with the provisions of the Assessment Act. It provides municipalities with a range of services, including the preparation of annual assessment rolls used by municipalities to calculate property taxes.

Municipal enumerations are also conducted by MPAC in order to prepare a Preliminary List of Electors for each municipality and school board during an election year. Today, MPAC is responsible for the assessment of nearly 4.7 million properties in the province.

MPAC has a province-wide presence, with most staff located in 33 field offices. MPAC's head office is in Pickering, and its Customer Contact Centre/Central Processing Facility is located in Toronto.

For further information go to www.mpac.ca.

The City of North Bay's local office is located at: Northgate Square, 1500 Fisher Street.