Ontario Federation of Agriculture Commentary
By Peter Lambrick, OFA Director
The latest round of Ontario farm property assessments are in the mail. Every four years, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) updates assessments on all properties for tax purposes, including farm property. This year’s assessments reflect new property values as of January 1, 2016.
MPAC’s assessment notices contain important information for Ontario farm property owners. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) encourages all members to carefully review the assessment notices. They contain information that could impact property tax bills – including the new assessed value of the farm property and residence, and the appropriate property tax classification. It’s also important to remember MPAC’s assessment values are one half of the equation that determines property tax bills – municipal tax rates are the other half.
OFA members should carefully review their assessment notices and here are a few things to keep in mind.
Check the classification. Be sure your property is still properly classified in the Farm Class Tax Rate. If the farm property has fallen out of the farm tax rate, the property will be classified and taxed at a higher residential tax rate.
Understand the values. The assessment notice lists two values – the previous assessment as of January 1, 2012 and the new 2016 value. The difference between these numbers is the increase in property assessment over the last four years. Any increase in the assessment value of the property is not applied immediately, but is phased in equally over a four-year period. This may have an impact on property tax rates, depending on the municipality.
Get more information. OFA members can get more detailed information on their assessment ataboutmyproperty.ca. Login information is located on the assessment notice. Members should also ask themselves if they agree with the new 2016 assessment, remembering the new assessment is based on the value of the property if it was sold on January 1, 2016.
Ask for a review. If you don’t agree with MPAC’s 2016 assessed value of your property, after reviewing the notice, you can file a Request for Reconsideration. The deadline to file a request is printed on the assessment notice. Visit ofa.on.ca for more information on understanding the MPAC farm property assessment notice.
OFA works closely with MPAC to advocate for a fair assessment process for farm property and will continue to work on behalf of our members to ensure this year’s assessments reflect Ontario farmland property values.