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).
Four-Year Assessment Cycle
Amendments to the Assessment Act provide for a four-year assessment update cycle, beginning with the 2009 taxation year. Beginning in 2009 and continuing through 2012, property assessment values will be based on a January 1, 2008 valuation date (i.e., the full CVA of a property will reflect an estimated market value as at January 1, 2008).
The next assessment update will take place in 2012 for taxation years 2013-2016. The Assessment Cycle chart below provides the valuation dates used for each taxation year from 1998 through 2016.
|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|
Assessment Increases and Decreases
Beginning in 2009, market value assessment increases between the 2005 valuation date and the 2008 valuation date 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 (2009-2012).
Assessment decreases are not subject to phase-in and were 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.
Property Assessment Notice
In 2008, MPAC mailed "Property Assessment Notice 2008 for the 2009 - 2012 property tax years", which advised property owners of the new current assessed value of their property based on a January 1, 2008 valuation date, the previous CVA value (based on a January 1, 2005 valuation date), the annual phase-in amount, and the phased-in CVA values that would be used for taxation in each of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. 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.
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.
In the fall of 2011, MPAC mailed a new Property Assessment Notice to the owner of any property that was reassessed in 2011 due to changes in property tax class, new construction or improvements.
CVA Changes during the Four-Year Phase-in period
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.
CVA Changes due to Assessment Appeals and/or Requests for Reconsideration (RIR)
Where assessment appeals or Requests for Reconsideration result in changes to the "destination assessment" (the CVA based on a January 1, 2008 valuation date), 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.