How your ever increasing Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula property taxes are determined.
Taxpayers have some control over the amount of taxes that they pay. These property taxes are based on two components:
- The assessed value as determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). This amount reflects what your property would sell for on the open real estate market and is based on sales of comparable properties. This assessed value should be equal to or less than the potential sale price on the open market.
- The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, Bruce County and the Ontario Ministry of Education, each year, establish their individual budget needs and in turn, establish their rates of taxation, known as the mil rate.
How is your property assessment arrived at and what you can do if you feel that it is not equitably assessed?
January 1, 2016 saw the introduction of another four year round of property tax assessments by MPAC, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. MPAC determines the market value for properties throughout Ontario. Most Property Assessment Notices for Bruce County were mailed out on May 24, 2016; the remaining ones, will be mailed out later this year. The assessed value of your property as of January 1, 2016 will be phased in over four years starting in 2017 and through 2018, 2019 and 2020. Unlike previous years, residential property owners will see an average assessment increase of less than 1% in 2017.
The previous assessments, as of January 1, 2012, contained many inconsistencies throughout Bruce County; in fact, the Owen Sound MPAC office had the highest rate of RfR’s (Requests for Reconsideration) in the entire Province of Ontario. Property Owners who took the time to research and compare their assessments with other properties using the “About My Property” section of the MPAC website regularly found glaring inconsistencies. As a result, extra staff was deployed to the Owen Sound office to deal with the deluge of RfR’s; many assessments were revised and brought into line with comparable and neighbouring properties. It’s MPAC’s responsibility to assess property correctly and accurately; they are required to be open, fair and transparent.
This year, all property owners will have 128 days from receipt of their 2016 Notice of Assessment to file an RfR. Upon receipt of your Notice of Assessment, you will be provided with an identification number and PIN in order access information on the MPAC website about your property. This will be your assessed value used to determine your property taxes for 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. In addition, the Bruce County website, www.brucecounty.on.ca, has an excellent interactive map of the entire county. Users can zoom in on any part of the county and in turn, to every property to verify the address, tax roll number, taxes and current assessed value used in 2016 of each and every property. Be patient, it’s a large site containing much data and may be slow to download, depending on traffic.
By using “About My Property” in conjunction with the Bruce County site, you should be able to compare assessment increases for your property and others in your area. The Bruce County website currently displays the assessed value based on January 1, 2012; your 2016 Notice of Assessment and About My Property states the assessed value as of January 1, 2016. The difference represents the increase in the MPAC assessed value.