City of Toronto property taxpayers see an approximate 5.4 per cent assessment increase in 2009



    
    Property Assessment Notices in the mail to 668,000 property owners in the
    City of Toronto in first assessment update since 2005
    

    TORONTO, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - City of Toronto property taxpayers will see an
average assessment increase of approximately 5.4 per cent in 2009 as a result
of the four-year phase-in of assessment increases introduced by the Provincial
Government.
    "Residential property values have increased by approximately 22 per cent
in the City of Toronto since 2005, when the last assessment update was done.
Because of the four-year phase-in introduced by the Provincial Government,
property taxpayers here will see an average assessment increase of
approximately 5.4 per cent next year," said Joe Regina, Account Manager,
Municipal Relations, in the Toronto office of the Municipal Property
Assessment Corporation (MPAC).
    An increase in assessment does not necessarily mean 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 a property owner.
    The phase-in program does not apply to decreases in assessed value. The
full amount of a decrease will be applied during the 2009 tax year.
    "Our values are based on actual selling prices and reflect the local real
estate market," Regina said. "We have seen selling prices for homes increase
over the past three years and our values reflect that."
    Municipalities establish tax rates that are applied to assessed values to
pay for local services, and the Provincial Government sets rates for the
education portion of the tax.
    Property Assessment Notices are being mailed to more than 668,000
property owners in the City of Toronto. Property owners in Scarborough and
North York will receive their Notices from MPAC this week while property
owners in downtown Toronto, East York, York and Etobicoke will receive their
Notices next week.
    "We have made a number of changes to improve customer service and provide
property taxpayers with more information that they can use to decide if their
assessed value is accurate," Regina said.
    The changes include redesigning the Property Assessment Notice to make it
easier to read and new services on our website that make it easier for people
to compare properties and decide if their assessment is correct.
    "Our role is to assess property accurately. We strive for accuracy, but
when assessing nearly 4.7 million properties across Ontario, mistakes can be
made. If a property taxpayer believes an error has been made and that his or
her property would not have sold for its assessed value on January 1, 2008, we
want them to call us or visit our Toronto office. We'll explain how we arrived
at the assessment and, if it's wrong, we'll fix it," Regina said.
    Hours at the Toronto office will be extended from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday
to Friday through November 7 to respond to local taxpayers' questions. The
regular hours at the Toronto office are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Property taxpayers can also call the Customer Contact Centre at 1 866 296-6722
(MPAC) or visit the MPAC website at www.mpac.ca for more information.

    To view a map of the average assessment change for residential properties
in Toronto for the 2009 tax year, please go to the following address:
http://files.newswire.ca/757/AssmntChange.pdf

    MPAC (www.mpac.ca) is a not-for-profit corporation funded by all Ontario
municipalities. MPAC is responsible for administering a uniform, province-wide
property assessment system based on current values. It provides a range of
services, including the preparation of annual assessment rolls for use by
municipalities and the Province of Ontario to calculate property taxes and
education 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.
    MPAC has 33 local offices located across Ontario. Its head office is
located in Pickering.


    
    Municipal Property Assessment Corporation Announces Extended Hours To
    Support Local Property Owners During the 2008 Assessment Update

    In support of its commitment to help local property owners with their
assessment-related questions and concerns, local MPAC offices will have
extended hours during the delivery of Property Assessment Notices. In Toronto,
the following extended hours will be in effect.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               Extended Hours

         Date                   Location                   Extended Hour
                                                               Time
    Monday - Friday        Toronto MPAC Office
     October 14 -     5255 Yonge Street, Suite 400    8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
     November 7

    In addition to these local hours, MPAC's province-wide Customer Contact
      Centre hours will be extended until November 28. The hours are from
                8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
     The Contact Centre can be reached, toll free at 1 866 296-6722 (MPAC).
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                     The New Property Assessment Notice

                           Background Information

    -  The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) has improved the
       2008 Property Assessment Notice to make it easier to read and
       understand. This year's Property Assessment Notice will include:
       -  The assessed value of the property for each of the next four tax
          years;
       -  The percentage by which the property has increased or decreased in
          value since the last assessment update in 2005 and the average
          percentage by which properties across the municipality have changed
          in value. If the assessed value of the property has changed by the
          same or a lower percentage than values in the municipality as a
          whole, property taxes may not increase;
       -  A history of past adjustments, if any, made by MPAC through the
          Request for Reconsideration process or the Assessment Review Board
          to the assessed value of the property and whether these are
          reflected in the current assessment;
       -  Details about the property including lot size, square footage, and
          year of construction used by MPAC to help determine the assessed
          value of a property;
       -  A User ID and Password that can be used to access
          AboutMyProperty(TM), an online service that will provide property
          owners with information about neighbouring properties, including
          assessed values, at the click of a mouse;
       -  The phone number and address of the nearest MPAC local office where
          questions can be answered and concerns addressed in person; and
       -  The toll-free phone number for MPAC's Customer Contact Centre.

    -  Property Assessment Notices will be mailed for Ontario's nearly
       4.7 million properties in 2008.

    -  Mailed with the Property Assessment Notice will be:
       -  A brochure explaining how property owners can determine if their
          assessment is accurate and, if they feel it is not, what options
          are available to have it corrected; and
       -  A brochure describing the new Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property
          Tax Grant to help eligible senior homeowners with low and moderate
          incomes pay their property taxes.

    -  An interactive Property Assessment Notice with details on each section
       has been posted on the MPAC website at www.mpac.ca.
    




For further information:

For further information: members of the media should call Joe Regina,
Account Manager, MPAC, 1-877-882-6584, extension 7004, (416) 250-2150,
extension 7004; Larry Hummel, Vice-President, Property Values, MPAC,
1-877-635-6722, extension 6195, (905) 837-6195; Michael Jacoby, Director,
Communications, 1-877-635-6722, extension 4209, (905) 837-4209

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Municipal Property Assessment Corporation

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