It's official - on top of the potential for a tax hike this year your property assessment is going up too.
The dreaded double-whammy that could force property owners to dig deeper to pay the bills came into clearer focus when the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation began issuing its notices this month.
Cornwall homeowners will see the assessed value of their property increase by an average of 4.4 per cent in 2013.
“Residential property values have increased by an average of approximately 18.1 per cent in Cornwall since 2008 when the last assessment update was delivered,” said Michel Contant, account manager at MPAC's Cornwall office.
Because of the four-year phase-in program, property owners will see an average assessment increase of 4.4 per cent each year, beginning in 2013. The phase-in program does not apply to decreases in assessment which are applied immediately for the 2013 property tax year.
Property assessment notices are being mailed to more than 86,000 area property owners as part of this fall’s provincewide assessment update.
It's not all bad news, though.
An increase in assessment does not always translate into an increase in property taxes. If the assessed value of a home has increased by the same percentage as the average in the municipality, there might be no increase in the property taxes paid by property owners.
“Our values reflect the local real estate market and confirm that most homeowners in the area have seen an increase in the value of their property over the past four years,” Contant said. “Property owners should ask themselves if they could have sold their property for its assessed value on January 1, 2012. If the answer is yes, then their assessment is accurate. If not, we are committed to working with them to get it right."
If property owners believe their assessment is not correct, they have the option of filing a Request for Reconsideration and MPAC will review their assessment free of charge.
Contant said residential property values have increased by approximately 18.4 per cent in Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry.
Since 2008, waterfront property in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry has increased in value, by approximately 17.1 per cent. With the four-year phase-in, property taxpayers will see an average increase of 4.1 per cent for the 2013 property tax year.
Farmland in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry has increased by approximately 71.9 per cent. With the four-year phase-in, property taxpayers will see an average increase of approximately 18 per cent.
According to Larry Hummel, MPAC’s chief assessor, values increased for all categories of agricultural land in every area of the province. The increase is based on a number of factors including that farmland in many parts of the province remains in high demand.
Under Ontario law, farm homes and one acre of property on which the home sits are taxed at the same rate as residential property in the municipality. The maximum tax rate for farmland is 25 per cent of the residential tax rate and municipalities can adjust the tax rate so that it is lower than 25 per cent of the residential rate.
Hours will be extended at MPAC’s Cornwall office during the Notice mailing period this fall. Property owners can also call MPAC’s Customer Contact Centre toll free at 1-866-296-MPAC (6722).