My interest in the housing market, every now and then, pushes me to put out a post specifically on a housing-related topic. This time, it’s about that often-forgotten cost of a booming housing market: higher taxes.
This means that even if you aren’t in the market to sell your home, you can still feel the effects of all those who are. Because when MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corp.) reassesses the value of your home every four years, your property taxes are recalculated based (in part) on what they determine to be the current value of your property.
So if that value jumped 30% in the last four years, you’ll likely see a bigger jump in your monthly tax bill than you would have in the past, when property values in the GTA were appreciating at close to half that rate. Granted, it doesn’t mean your taxes will increase by exactly 30%, but it can be enough to make you raise your eyebrows.
What to do about it
Unlike most forms of taxation, you can actually argue this one with a reasonable chance of success. PMAC accepts challenges to their valuations from home owners free of charge. If you want to claim that there was some miscalculation involved in the assessment, or that the information used was incomplete, they will re-evaluate. Basically, if you think that your house would have sold this year for a lower price than the one MPAC came up with, then you should think about appealing it.
If you don’t receive the valuation you believe to be fair at this stage, you can also choose to go one step further and make a formal appeal (for a fee).
The stats say that about half of all the home owners who challenge the original valuation end up with a lower tax bill as a result.
How to get a re-evaluation
You can submit an online application that is relatively painless, through this site: https://www.aboutmyproperty.ca/
There is also quite a bit of information about MPAC’s process and assessments here as well.
Once MPAC completes their re-evaluation, they will let you know of the results in writing, and should they come up with a different number, they will notify your municipality to adjust your property taxes.