By Tristan Marks
West Lincoln property owners should not be surprised if they receive a letter outlining their “property assessment notice” next year.
A representative of the Municipal Property Assessment Company (MPAC) presented to the Township’s council on Monday about their upcoming 2020 property value assessment report.
MPAC is an independant company owned by the Government of Ontario that administers property assessments and appeals of assessment across the province.
Every four years they update their assessments for property values within given municipalities using a variety of methods such as direct comparison and property income data.
Analysis is an on-going process, but MPAC sends out assessment notices to municipal residents every four years. When the up-coming notices go out, it will reflect the data as of Jan. 1, 2019.
Assessment increases are phased in equally over four years, when the next valuation begins.
Coun. Mike Rehner expressed concern at how the recent real estate market activity would affect the value assessment and therefore residents’ property taxes. He cited the township’s 5.1% tax increases for each of the past three years.
“Will MPAC reflect the crazy market?” he asked.
“During campaigning last year I had a lot of people saying “I don’t think I can afford this”.”
He specifically drew attention to the difficulty this would pose to retirees and others living on fixed incomes.
MPAC account manager Lynne Cunningham, who presented that evening, said in response that property taxes are the municipality’s purview. Her company merely reports the value.
Rehner also asked if the system would raise taxes on property owners who increase the value of their property by improving it.
“Is penalization an incentive to beautify a property?” he asked.
Cunningham’s reply was that such considerations are out of MPAC’s control.
“We’re legislated this way,” she said.