Are You Paying To Much in Real Estate Taxes?
Real Estate Taxes effect all property owners in Canada and are often not something property owners pay close enough attention too. In Ontario the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) assesses properties for their estimated market value, the municipality then takes this assessment and applies its mill rate (depending on your property type) which determines the taxes payable by the property owner.
The City of Windsor’s residential and commercial mill rates have been the highest in Essex County, and one of the highest in Canada for several years. With high mill rates, I always recommend paying close attention to your assessment. Checking the value of your property is something that should be done every few years to ensure you are not over paying in taxes.
Contrary to what many believe, a increase in your property assessment from MPAC, does not necessarily mean your property has increased in value. While MPAC tries to ensure all assessments are fair, it is possible for a property to become over-assessed.
A high assessment not only means a property owner is paying to much in taxes each year, it can also mean a property will be harder to sell, as Buyers add the current taxes to their expenses when deciding to purchase a home.
MPAC reassesses all properties every few years, with the last base assessment year being 2012. Each year a property owner is given the current years assessment from MPAC and given a deadline to accept or question the assessment. I you do not agree with your current assessment you can have someone file a request for reconsideration for you, or you can file a request for reconsideration yourself.
The deadline to submit a Request for Reconsideration for the 2014 tax year is March 31, 2014.
Appealing taxes can be a stressful process. Having a third party handle a notice of reconsideration, offers an arms length discussion with MPAC and eliminates much of the stress. I have filed many notice of re-considerations for both residential and commercial clients, and in most cases have been successful in reducing a properties assessment and a reduction in property taxes.
I have seen assessments reduced by as much as 30% ($400,000) on commercial property, which resulted in a tax savings of over $19,000 per year. Filing a notice of reconsideration should only be done when it is seems clear that the value is over assessed, as there is always a risk the assessment could go up if a property is under assessed.
If you feel your assessment is too high and would like assistance, please feel free to contact me. A Third Party Authorization is required when you want someone else to handle your notice of reconsideration for you.
If notice of reconsideration is unsuccessful, a property owner still has the right to appeal their taxes.