homeabout uscontact us
when you think real estate...

« Greater Toronto Resale Housing at 2,000 Sales in Mid-November | Main | Condo sales remain steady »

Understanding your 2008 Property Assessment Notice

Recently, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) mailed out a 2008 Property Assessment Notice to every property owner in Ontario. Your 2008 Property Assessment Notice shows the assessed value of your property based on a January 1, 2008 valuation date. The last province-wide assessment update took place three years ago and was based on a January 1, 2005 valuation date. When your municipality/local taxing authority sets property tax rates, your assessed value is used to determine your property taxes.


To establish your property’s assessed value, MPAC’s assessment professionals analyze property sales in your area. These sales provide the basis for assessed values. Their experts understand local real estate markets and work in their 33 offices located across the province.

They continually collect and update detailed information for every property in Ontario to ensure that similar property types are valued consistently within the market area.

This method is called Current Value Assessment. It is used by most assessment jurisdictions in Canada and around the world.

Property Information
In addition to sales, our experts regularly analyze property information through a number of sources, including:

- land title documents;
- building permits;
- on-site property inspections and communication with property owners;
- income and expense information (for apartment buildings or hotels); and
- real estate boards

MPAC's database contains over two billion pieces of data, and is one of the most detailed in the world. Like all assessing authorities, MPAC is able to determine accurate values for large groups of properties based on common data and mass appraisal techniques.

Key Features
In addition to recent sales, MPAC looks at the key features of every property. Although as many as 200 different factors are considered when assessing the value of a residential property, there are five major factors that account for 85% of the value:

- Age of the House
- Building Area
- Location
- Lot Dimensions
- Quality of Construction

Some other key features may also affect the value:

- Primary Structures
- Secondary Structures (e.g. garages, sheds or inground pools)
- Site Features
- Structural Features

Your 2008 Property Assessment Notice includes the average percentage change of residential properties in your municipality/local taxing authority. If the value of your property has increased more than the average, you may pay an increased share of the revenue your municipality and the Province require for local services and education. If the value has not increased by the average, you may pay a decreased share.

Call your municipality/local taxing authority for more information about property taxes.

In addition, any market increases in assessed value between the last assessment update in 2005 and this year will be phased-in over four years. The phase-in was introduced by the Provincial Government to provide an additional level of property tax stability and predictability for Ontario property taxpayers. The phase-in program does not apply to decreases in assessed value. The change in assessed value and the phased-in assessment values for the 2009 to 2012 property tax years are listed on your 2008 Notice.


First, ask yourself if you could have reasonably expected to sell your property for its assessed value on January 1, 2008, the date on which the assessed value is based.

Second, check to see that the information they have about your property is accurate.

You can find detailed information about your property online at AboutMyPropertyTM or by writing to them with your request. You can obtain detailed information on up to 24 properties of your choice and up to six selected by MPAC, free of charge.

Third, check to see what similar properties in your neighbourhood sold for in and around January 1, 2008.

If you feel your assessed value or property classification is not correct, MPAC will review it free of charge. You may request a review any time before March 31 of the tax year.

Many of you are asking: Property values have dropped in my neighbourhood since January 1, 2008 and my house is worth less now than the assessed value. What should I do?

The Assessment Act requires that all property be assessed at its value on January 1, 2008. MPAC does not have any authority to change this date. The previous assessment was performed in 2005. Any changes in the phased-in assessment values for the 2009 to 2012 property tax years are a reflection of property value changes between 2005 and 2008. Changes in value since January 1, 2008 will affect the assessment value on the next assessment date as determined by the Assessment Act.


Toll Free number: 1 866 296-MPAC (6722)

Requests for Property Information:

Attention: GRAD
P.O. Box 9808
Toronto, Ontario M1S 5T9


Fax (toll-free): 1 866 297-6703

Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 10:31AM by Registered CommenterElaine in | CommentsPost a Comment

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.