PICKERING, ON, Dec. 6 /CNW/ - A better job will be done of reviewing the sale price of a home when it differs significantly from its assessed value, according to Dan Mathieson, Chair of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) Board of Directors.
"Our job is to make sure that the assessed value of a home is accurate. While the sale price is a significant indication of the accuracy of our values, it is not the only one. A number of factors can result in a sale price that is significantly higher or lower than the assessed value. We will do a better job of looking at sales to see whether any of these factors are at play or if the home is not accurately assessed," Mathieson said.
In his report released today, the Auditor General identified a number of properties in which the sale price was significantly above or below the assessed value of the property.
In many of the cases in which the sale price was higher than the assessed value, an older home had been torn down and a new home built on the property that was sold at a significantly higher price than the assessed value. The increased value will be captured in subsequent permit inspections, according to Carl Isenburg, MPAC's President and Chief Administrative Officer.
A sale price significantly lower than the assessed value could be the result of other factors, such as a distress sale or a sale to relatives, according to Isenburg.
"If five homes in a neighbourhood have sold for $350,000 and one sells for half that, it raises a red flag. There could be something wrong with the value or there could be another reason. We will do a better job of finding out why there is a difference, and if the value is wrong, we will correct it," Isenburg said.
Isenburg noted that the Auditor General did not question MPAC's valuation models or methods, which meet or exceed standards set by the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO).
Other recommendations in the Auditor General's report dealt with procurement, expenses and record-keeping.
"A number of the recommendations related to issues identified in 2009 and before. We have addressed those issues and implemented new policies and procedures to correct them as recommended by the Auditor General," Isenburg said.
All nine recommendations in the Auditor General's report were accepted by MPAC and a number have already been implemented.
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.
For further information: For further information:
Michael Jacoby, Director of Communications,
Municipal Property Assessment Corporation