Did you miss the GCA workshop on municipal assessment? Here’s a recap.

By Lynn Barlow

Assessment FlyerIf you missed the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) workshop on Tuesday, November 27, that’s all right. There must have been 60 people in the Glebe Cooperative Nursery School room, with a half a dozen more standing. Here’s a recap.

Initially, Marcel Clement, the MPAC representative, explained the role they play. The provincial government passes legislation and sets property tax policy. MPAC establishes current value assessments and classifications for all properties in Ontario. It is a not-for-profit, non-share capital corporation, governed by a board of directors. The municipal government determines its revenue requirements, sets municipal tax rates and collects property taxes.

MPAC’s current value assessment (CVA) is based on open market sales between a willing seller and a willing buyer. CVA is determined by analysing actual sales of properties in a given area. Building permits and the lot value are the most critical factors to decide the value of your home.

The first step is to verify if the information on record about your house is correct: look at the website www.aboutmyproperty.ca. You will need the Roll # for your property and the Access Key on the bottom right hand corner of your assessment form. With these you can create a user ID and a password. Now you can compare your property with others in your neighbourhood.

When you look at your information, it will ask you, “Is this information correct?” You can respond “yes “or “no.” It might indicate that there are six bedrooms in your house. Rec rooms, playrooms and home offices are all considered bedrooms. It might say that there is a detached garage when perhaps it was demolished years ago. Removal of the garage decreases one’s property value. The square footage of your home could possibly be incorrect. Additions to a house increase the property value. If your home has been compared to a house which has an addition in the back and yours does not, take a picture to show the comparison.

If you say NO – that the information is incorrect, a Request for Property Information sheet will pop up. Then you can type in the correct information.

Someone in the audience asked what “functional obsolescence” is. Mr. Clement said, as an example, it would be if your home had been rented out to a bunch of bikers and during that time had been trashed. It could also be if it’s been unkempt for many years and left to deteriorate. This could be a reason why an increase in property value is not warranted.

Finally, you can go to www.mpac.ca and click on Forms, under Property Owners and fill out the Request for Reconsideration 2013. There is no cost. The filing deadline is April 1, 2013. Once the form is received, an evaluator will be assigned to come to your home to inspect the premises. Be careful what you wish for. This process could lead to either an increase or a decrease in property assessment value.

You can contact MPAC either by telephone at the head office at 1-866-296-6722, Text telephone at 1-877-TTY-6722 or you could visit your local area MPAC office at 1420 Blair Place, Room 300. Their telephone number is 613-742-1001 if you have any questions.

Another audience member had asked if the homes on Holmwood Avenue will decrease in value because of their proximity to Lansdowne Park redevelopment. The MPAC representative said that it’s too early to tell if Lansdowne will have a negative or positive affect. They have to wait and see what sales occur in the next four years.

Mechanicsville, Westboro, Alta Vista and the Glebe have seen the highest increases in evaluations this year according to the MPAC research. Residential property values have gone up 26 per cent on average in Ottawa since 2008. Single family dwellings in Ottawa average a little over $400,000 while semi-detached residences are a little over $300,000 (although not in our neighbourhood).

With Lansdowne and the City of Ottawa requiring a lot of money to pay for building the parking garage, moving the Horticulture Building and revamping the football stadium, residents are having a tough time feeling good about increases to their property taxes at a time of economic uncertainty.

Our next GCA meeting won’t be until January 22, 2013 at 7 p.m. Happy Holidays!

Lynn Barlow is President of the Glebe Community Association and can be reached at gca@glebeca.ca. To contact any of our committees, please visit our website: www.glebeca.ca

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