Shocking Increases in MPAC Assessments of Property Value by Reg Coffey – November 15, 2012

Shocking Increases in MPAC Assessments of Property Value by Reg Coffey – November 15, 2012

CFN – By now most property owners have received their assessment notice in the mail. The envelope that you received also contains information on the MPAC itself and how they came to arrive at the number they assigned to your property. According to their own literature “five major factors usually account for 85% of the value: location: lot dimensions: living area: age of the structure(s), adjusted for any major renovations or additions; and quality of construction.” The value that this corporation comes up with will determine the amount of property taxes that your municipality will charge you for the next 4 years. Please read it thoroughly because you may be surprised or even shocked at what you see there.

In my own case I found that MPAC believes that my property has increased in value by a whopping 40%. I couldn’t believe it. Nothing has changed in or around my house. I have not had any renovations done or even changed the landscape. The community has not experienced any economic surge or even unusual housing development. Properties do not sell like hotcakes here in Ingleside so how could the assessment increase by 40%?

I contacted three real estate agents from different agencies and the Cornwall and District Real Estate Board and asked for their opinion of the MPAC assessment increases. All of the agents expressed as much shock over the increase as I did. They suggested that it is normal to see a 2-5% increase in home values per year. According to MLS database the average residential sale price for South Stormont in the last 4 years was; 2008 – $167,502; 2009 – $176,426; 2010 – $194,538; 2011 – $191,867. That is only an increase of 12.7%, but then MPAC doesn’t use MLS numbers.

What can you do if you think the assessment is unfair? The information packet included with your assessment tells you to go to their web site www.aboutmyproperty.ca and log on using your Roll Number and access key that are listed on the bottom of your Property Assessment Notice. There you can see a comparison to similar properties in your area. You can also contact MPAC by phone or go to their local office. Basically they say you can appeal their value by using their RfR form and submitting it before April 1, 2013. The form is available online or by phone. You can also write a letter requesting reconsideration.

How does the assessment affect your property taxes? Municipalities use the assessed value to calculate how much property tax you have to pay. They are given an average value estimate of residential properties and then they apply the tax rate. If the municipality maintains their tax rate then if your assessed value goes up 40% your property taxes go up 40%. According to the finance report last night at the South Stormont Council meeting, the estimated average assessed value for residential properties have increased by 23.12%. Farm properties have increased by 49.51%.

Fortunately, municipalities have the ability to moderate the effect of higher assessment values overall by lowering the tax rate. However the residential taxes are composed of Township, County and School Board taxes and the township is typically only 31% of the total. In South Stormont the tax rate is decided during their annual budget meeting and is dependent on how much money they need to run the municipality. For the years of 2008 to 2012 inclusive the rates have been 0.427780%, 0.413513%, 0.413513%, 0.409390% and 0.415784% so you can see that your property taxes may not automatically go up the same amount as the assessed value of your property does.

The point is that as an individual homeowner if your assessment is 40% higher than the previous one, you are going to be paying 40% more than you would have at the previous rate and 20% more than the current estimated average increase. That is an unacceptable high increase. If you consider seniors who live on a fixed income that kind of increase in taxes is a hardship. Yes, their property will be theoretically worth more but what good is it if they have no intention of selling it. With a large jump in property tax some may be forced to.

The only recommendation I have been given, by both the real estate board and the municipality, is if you don’t think that you can sell your home for the assessed value then you should appeal the assessment.

I know I am.

Coffeys Coffee

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40 Comments on "Shocking Increases in MPAC Assessments of Property Value by Reg Coffey – November 15, 2012"

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Dave White
Guest
I know the pain. I bought my humble little home in 2003 for 65,000 and my latest assessment is for 94,000. I wish my investments paid such a high return. The fact is that I am a senior and my home is not an investment but my HOME. Another government agency is pricing us seniors out of our homes. I did contest my assessment and a few weeks later a ‘used car salesman’ came to my house and contradicted every concern I had. My house is small, very small at only 746 square feet (according to MPAC). I measure 678… Read more »
Reg Coffey
Member

I’m sorry to hear about your assessment and problems with MPAC Dave. Perhaps you should also contact Cornwall Mayor Bob Kilger as he is a director on the board of MPAC.

Dave White
Guest
Thanks Reg. I have sent Mr Kilger the posting from CFN. This being done, I am a fighter for our rights however I have noticed that many in Ontario just throw up their arms and say “What can we do”? I hope more people read your article and my posting and also tell Mr Kilger and all the other directors in their ivory towers that we deserve better from our bureaucrats. We have come through a recession and are probably heading into another as world conditions deterioriate. The cost of living is going up and MPAC is contributing to that… Read more »
jules
Guest
Mr. White I feel for you because my mom and dad were senior citizens as well and they couldn’t do much to repair (not improve but repair) what was needed around the house (or should I say garage) at their age since they only received the basic pension. I know all too well what you are talking about. If you were living in one of those “ivory towers” in Toronto you would surely have to vacate since Toronto and Vancouver are the most expensive places in Canada to live in. Many young families have to live like that and it… Read more »
Dave White
Guest
In all fairness Mr Kilger responded to my e-mail as one of the board of directors of MPAC. He phoned me within a few hours of me sending an e-mail of my post as above but told me that he was not a fan of CFN as “they burnt a few bridges”. I wonder who he was talikig about? He told me that he would get back next week and I hope that he comes back with a favourable valuation for my home. Just as information, my increase would be 5.52% for each of the next 4 years while the… Read more »
Dave White
Guest

Yeah Jamie, he said that but I’ll bet that he can’t resist a peak at your site, at least now that I contacted him. Kind of like the forbidden fruit. Let’s see what comes out of his intervention. But without a mass outcry over MPAC evaluations, they will probably get away with it and as usual the elecrtorate will be ‘paying the piper’.
All the best to you on your new endeavours. Send me a personal e-mail.

Ciao

Dave

hailey Brown
Member
This is an awesome write up!!! A question, what would happen if you just didn’t pay the tax? Does anyone have a legal signed contract with the city saying this is taxation valid? I bet if we could find a lawyer familiar with UCC law there would be no way this is justified. And how can you make assumptions based on “adjusted for any major renovations or additions; and quality of construction.” without visiting the site or home? I write proposals and appraisals for a living and there is no way you can do this the way it is being… Read more »
Dave White
Guest

Jamie, Jamie, Jamie! Aren’t ‘we’ getting a little off subject here? Haven’t you heard the expression “Don’t bite the hand that bleeds you, er I mean feeds you”? Whatever your gripe is with some of our politicians, I have found that even those that I did not vote for are approachable and just may be able to help us out in a bureaucratic nightmare. Let’s give them a chance and I’ll get back with the positive or negative results.

Dave White
Monkland

Dave White
Guest
Hailey, the short answer is that you would lose your home for not paying your tax bill. When I bought my home the lawyer did not notify North Stormont city hall that I was the new owner and the county sent the final tax bill to the new address of the old owner of my home. Hmm, makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it that they knew he moved? Of course, he probably thought “This is not my problem” and threw the tax bill out instead of bringing it to me. Well come the next year, they did send it… Read more »
hailey Brown
Member

Dave

The city or township does not own our homes, they simply provide the services.

The banks pertty much own our homes. Therefore as in any business if they do not provide a service condusive to the fee charged why do we have to pay the bill?

If as you metnion “they can take our homes” I guess it is never truly ours to own. How can somebody or some entity under any law claim ownership in something they do not have a bill of purchase for, or in the case of our homes a deed.

Dave White
Guest
You are right Hailey, they provide the services but don’t pay your taxes and you will see how fast they can take your home away. It might take a while but they have the ‘legal right exact their pound of flesh. Maybe I am lucky that I owe the bank nada on my house, but that is because I am a senior and have built up equity on previous homes that ‘the bank owned’. When I retired and moved to Ontario, I spent my life savings buying my modest ‘little’ home. Oh well, it is 2012 and it’s getting closer… Read more »
hailey Brown
Member

Well Dave I like you attitude about this, make light of a sick situation. Either that or we go bonkers.

Sorry I do not mean to seem argumentative but if anyone has the proof that council can reposes your home based on taxes not being paid I would truly like to see the document.

Could it be we are letting them get away with something illegal because nobody challenges or perhaps just because nobody has ever looked into its legitimacy?

Eric
Guest

These sites may give some answers Hailey Brown. If you owe the government, they will get it, even a garnashement of wages or home sale.

http://www.ontariotaxsales.ca/how-to-buy-tax-sale-properties/what-is-a-tax-sale.html

http://www.ontario-waterfront-cottages.com/GovernmentPropertyTaxSales.html

Didn’t the Ont. Liberals say they would fix the MPAC unfairness?

Dave White
Guest
Thanks Eric. “A proof is a proof is a proof” to quote Jean Cretien. The proof I had was that my dad lost his home years ago for failure to pay property taxes in Quebec. He died alone as a homeless person on the streets of Vancouver. He was a WWII veteran and the veterans in BC at least gave him a decent burial. I was at least lucky to have had a 34 year career with CN Rail but my pension which began 9 years ago is getting smaller and smaller in our economy. As I said, I bought… Read more »
hailey Brown
Member

Thank you ERic
and Dave its a shitty thing that happened to your dad.
Eric your site explains what a tax sale is but I did not see what gives them the legal right to take your poperty,

This is what I mean, we accpet things like a tax sale but can anyone find a site that says they can actually reposess your porperty?

If they can then there has to be a contract, a trade contract of some sort. If that exists we have the same right to refuse payment for not recieving the service…

or am i blowing wind

Dave White
Guest

Woosh Hailey 😉

c`est drole
Guest
Dave the worst part of all this MPAC power is if a neighbor or several neighbors build huge mansions in your area it raises your tax base…. even if your area is modest…..it changes the value of your home without you doing a thing…. had the mpac people review twice in this current hous… they did drop my tax a little but the 2 years later a new house appeared in our neighborhood with higher stories and more rooms and there went the tax rate again… gonna buid a log cabin in the bush and go off paper like a… Read more »
PJ Robertson
Member

Excellent and timely piece, Reg.

Be sure to check location, in case you find that MPAC has magically whisked your house overnight from the inland street where you’ve always lived to a waterfront location on a different street. You can imagine the shock when you read the assessment.

Eric
Guest

Should have been this municipal act document Haliey. http://www.ontariotaxsales.ca/fileadmin/pdf/MunicipalAct.pdf
Google search – Ontario sale of land for tax arrears –

Nothing will change until people get fed up, as a group, and complain to our elected officials, as a group. It is nothing short of tragic to see our seniors go down in this way, without respect, dignity and quality of life.

I would like to see seniors, or anyone having paid municipal tax for say 35 years, to stop paying the school portion. Of course, we are so in debt to benefit payouts, that will not happen.

hailey Brown
Member
omg so much reading again Contents of tax bill (2) A tax bill shall contain, (a) the name of the taxpayer; (b) the assessment roll number of the property; (c) a description of the property sufficient to identify it; (d) the assessed value of the property; (e) the total amount of taxes payable; (f) the amounts of the new taxes required to be shown separately on the tax roll unless the bill is for an interim tax; (g) the amount of any taxes previously billed for the year, including any accrued late payment charges; (h) the date or dates on… Read more »
Dave White
Guest
Eric, I personally have no problem with the school taxes. After all I have had two son’s and 4 stepchildren that went to school on the tax payer’s dime, but I do understand single people or those who have long since retired and their grandchildren are the only ones terrorizing their homes. What I would like to see is my elected officials recognize the contribution tax paying seniors have made to this country and at least freeze the values of our homes, till at least we sell them or go to the Great Ghost in the sky. Problem is that… Read more »
Dave White
Guest
C’est Drole. I liked the log cabin idea and considered that myself. I’m that kind of wilderness kind of guy. Problem is that if we did, they would build some super highway, mega mall or oil pipeline beside our home and once again we would be chopping logs or a neighbour would build a two story log cabin right beside yours and MPAC would be on our backs again. On, the water front property comment by PJ, yeah what’s with that? They are the first to complain and get government compensation for living on a flood plain when their houses… Read more »
Rural Homeowner
Guest

I got my new assessment today and our value increased by 28% (according to them anyway). Ours went from $306,000 to $395,000, and $89,000 increase which is just ridiculous!
Judging by what’s happing around us it may be somewhere in the middle if we got lucky. There is absolutely no evidence of sales in our area to support an increase that high. I will definitely be calling to complain!

hailey Brown
Member
Dave You can visit the MPAC page enter your number and find out the information about homes around you. I strongly urge you do that. Someone has to watch the keepers. I haven’t done it yet but as soon as I get my increase I will have to check it out for sure Taxes for education in one of the largest forms of extortion we have. Did you notice Upper Canada District School Board has hired extra personal to help complete repost cards. How much will it cost and where is the money coming from? Were you aware that teachers… Read more »
Dave White
Guest
Hailey, I am one step ahead of you. I have visited the MPAC website and urge anyone else that has received their valuation to go to http://www.aboutmyproperty.ca They can also be seen at http://www.mpac.ca I filled out their form on the web, printed it and mailed it the same day I was floored by the increase they were suggesting. Yes, they do show listings of similar priced homes (according to them), but they were not even in Monkland, or for that matter anywhere close in eastern Ontario. Also, I doubt that all of it’s ‘cute’ listings had their own wells… Read more »
Amy
Guest

You want a shocker as far as raises go? Mine went up by 89% from $140 000 to $244000. I am trying to fight it and started by sending in the rfr through the myproperty.ca website. They never got it, I just found out today. Now I am going to print everything and take it to the local office. This is a Joke.

Steve
Guest
I too am another Canadian senior in the same positiontion – with MPAC informing me that my home has gone up 41%in value since the ’08 assessment. Again, a 1956 house with no improvements (i.e. no new windows, the same kitchen – complete with 1956 International Harvester refrigerator, the same bathroom with original fixtures, a 22 year old furnace, no landscaping changes for fifty years, no painting having been done for many a year, original cast iron waste pipes, a hot water tank that the insurance company refuses to cover for leaks because it is over ten years old, poor… Read more »
Amy
Guest

Steve,

do a google search for mpac rfr form, print it off and fill it out and take it into your local office. Also go to a local realator and get them to do a search for comparable houses (houses like yours in the same condition) and take pics of your house. Take these in with you rfr form. If they don’t drop the value enough then you can go to a review board, you have to pay for this but hopefully it will be worth it in the end. Good luck

Reg Coffey
Member

I have good results from my MPAC appeal. They have decided to drop the assessed value of my home by $30,000. I didn’t have to get mad or be overly aggressive. I just followed the appeal process and they showed up at my house to look it over, reevaluated the house sales in the area and came up with a new number.

It’s worth the effort to appeal unfair assessments. The people that work at the local office simply want to do a good job and they follow the rules that their political masters give them.

a maslack
Guest

i had trouble right from day it became personal and vinditive i am the highst taxed house this area i appealed one by thename butterworth heard vthe appeal he not rejected my appeal he confiscated all my research i had of ather homes i am going to appeal again if lose iwill refuse to pay and go public and force in to proper court iwill protect my place these bounty hunting bastards have to be done away with

Dee
Guest
If you appeal any decisions by MPAC make sure you do previous years as well. I fought the assessment on my deceased parents property as I thought the assessment was too high. MPAC would not adjust them even after I had the property appraised with a letter of opinion for the courts. I took my appeal to the Assessment Review Board which I had to pay $65.00 to file. That was a joke. In 2008 the property was assessed and I say property because that is basically what it is for $69,000 and it went up to $82,000 for the… Read more »
jules
Guest

LOL LOL. ROLF! Reg Coffey you gave me my laugh for the day about the gentleman from Monkland to contact Bob Kilger who is on the board of the housing and it is he why so many are paying mighty high taxes. LOL LOL. I thought that I had too much sun from walking outside when I read that. I have to read what others have posted but this one gave me a good chuckle for sure.

jules
Guest
Hayley Brown as long as you pay taxes the property is not yours. My husband has been saying that for many years and then I heard it from a man in the US who is in real estate and investments and he said the very same thing along with many others. Your house can be completely paid for and it is not yours at all. If something isn’t mine I am not going to buy but instead pay rent in these Ottawa ivory towers and live without all the stress involved. My parents house has been paid for since sometime… Read more »
Dave White
Guest
Dee, I started this discussion back in November 2012 and the person from MPAC who came to check the valuation assessed by MPAC agreed it would stay as is, that is $17,000 more for over a 5% increase per year for the next 4 years. That is on a house that I paid $65,000 in 2003 and now MPAC values it at $94,000 with no renovations or additions since 2003 when I bought it. Of course I did receive a written apology for the unprofessional conduct of their evaluator but they stilll stand behind their official who took all of… Read more »
Darlene Potter
Guest
I too have been taken advantage of by mpac. In 2008 my property was valued at 23000.00. In this assessment year, my assessment has increased by over 150%. I didn’t recieve my assessment notice in the mail. (I wonder why)!!!. I have a cabin that was built on piers, no foundation, no heat, no well, no septic. No changes were made except a coat of paint. This cabin was build in 1940. Nothing about it has changed. I called mpac and they told me that the person who went to visit the property felt that the assessment was just too… Read more »
George Archers
Guest
Here in Springwater Ontario–MPAC uses experts at ARB hearings. Get this- MPAC experts are located in north Bay office. These folks then travel to locations anywhere in Ontario. My appeal is on Oct 18/13. MPAC is coming on strong.System screws the owner.My Property MPAC is a joke. City of Toronto and MPAC hires lawyers at all ARB appeals Regarding Tax arrears–check out Tri Target property tax sales If taxes are not paid within 3 years–property goes up for tax sale.If you owed $13,000–each month that passes–you get soaked with 1.250 % interest charged which is compounded–adds up to 21%/year. Here… Read more »
George Archers
Guest

Just addition: when the property is sold-say $30,000 minimum bid and top bidder gets it at $200,000. City takes $30,000 and notifies the owner at the last known forwarding address,that $170,000 is waiting. If no response in 90 days–the municipality keeps the whole amount. Cheers!

Ana
Guest

Dave White / George Archers: Please tell us, how did your ARB appeal hearings go?

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