Most residential property values jump

Property assessment notices have been mailed to more than 114,000 property owners in Fort Frances, Dryden, Kenora, Thunder Bay, and 52 surrounding municipalities as part of the province-wide property assessment update.
In Northwestern Ontario, the assessed value of residential properties increased by an average of seven-eight percent since June, 2003, when the last valuation occurred, according to Darlene Morgan, municipal relations representative in the Thunder Bay office of the Municipal Property Assessment Corp.
Of the region’s 56 municipalities, only 10 experienced decreases in residential property values, averaging seven-eight percent.
This year, most notices for residential property owners will include the percentage by which their property’s value has changed since the last assessment update.
They also will show the overall percentage by which residential properties in that municipality have changed. Municipalities use property assessments as the basis for distributing taxes within a community.
“To verify the accuracy of the assessed value, property owners should ask themselves if they could have sold their property for its assessed value on Jan. 1, 2005,” said Morgan.
“If the answer is yes, then the value is accurate.”
If information on a property owner’s notice appears to be incorrect or missing, the owner should first contact MPAC through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-866-296-6722 or visit www.mpac.ca
If property owners do not believe their assessed value or classification is accurate, they can ask the MPAC for a review by submitting a Request for Reconsideration (RfR).
Owners have until Dec. 31, 2006 to request a review.
Finally, property owners also can file a notice of complaint to the Assessment Review Board any time before March 31, 2006—even if the owner already has requested a review by MPAC.
Full information on these options is available on MPAC’s website at www.mpac.ca
“Our goal is to make sure that assessed values are accurate,” said Morgan. “If someone has a question or a concern, we’re here to help.”

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