FOCA’s Property Tax Position – OVERVIEW

FOCA advocates for fair property taxation on behalf of waterfront residential property taxpayers in Ontario.

* NEW * For the 2016 tax year, your deadline to file a RfR will depend on the date you receive your property assessment notice.  The previous deadline (March 31 of each year) NO LONGER APPLIES.

MPAC presented a 2016 Property Tax update to the FOCA Spring Seminar on March 5, 2016. A copy of this presentation can be made available to FOCA Members.

See FOCA’s 2016 Pre Budget letter to the Ontario Minister of Finance  (Feb 2016)

FOCA’s position on the Ontario residential property tax system

“Downloading” by the Province onto municipalities, and hence property owners in Ontario, is higher than all the rest of Canada. This inordinate local funding burden amplifies the unfairness inherent when property value is the sole determinant of how much an individual who pays for a lengthy list of municipal obligations. FOCA believes the provincial government must hasten and broaden the provincial role in financially supporting social services through provincial income taxes, which has only partially been addressed in the recommendations of the 2008 Provincial Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review.

The use of current value assessments (CVA), as a means to calculate property owners’ payments for municipal services received, continues to unfairly distribute social costs. There are precedents in other North American jurisdictions for a fairer process, acknowledging that there are municipal services that should not be paid for solely on the basis of the value of one’s property.  To use pure CVA to calculate tax obligations amounts to a tax on unrealized capital gains.

Failing to address the shortcomings within the current process will contribute to instability in many Ontario communities, forcing the untimely disposition of family assets.  This is only one unfortunate if unintended consequence from the current instable and unpredictable property tax system.  It is FOCA’s contention that the Province must forthwith take concrete steps to address the instability and unpredictability of property taxation in Ontario.

Your property taxes are affected by:

  • the education tax rate (set by the Province)
  • the municipal budget (established by your Municipality)
  • the municipal tax rate (set by your City/Municipality)
  • your property’s assessed value (determined by MPAC)

What can you do about your property taxes?

1) Prevent an increase in your municipal tax rate.
Municipal governments across Ontario are currently formulating and approving their annual budgets. Local spending decisions being made NOW will directly affect your property tax bill. Every property owner and resident should be paying attention.
NOTE: the tax bill you receive early in the calendar year is based on an INTERIM rate, but this will change, pending municipal budget decisions. Read more about MUNICIPAL BUDGETS and how to get involved in your local budget-setting process by following the link at the end of this page.

2) Challenge your MPAC assessed value.
The most recent MPAC notices showing your property’s assessed value at January 1, 2016 will be issued to property owners beginning in April 2016, and will be used to determine the 4-year phased-in assessment values – starting with the 2017 taxation year.

The value to be used in 2017 can be challenged, if you commence that challenge before the RfR deadline date. To do so, you must develop a rationale as to why you believe your property has been overvalued as at January 1, 2016 – NOT what may have transpired since. Read more about submitting a “Request for Reconsideration” .

Other News

August 15, 2016 – Wynne advises Ontario municipalities to consult constituents on new local taxes

December 1, 2015 – Cities outside Toronto cannot charge land-transfer tax, Ted McMeekin says (Toronto Star)

July 24, 2015 – Municipal officials in Fort Frances, Dryden, Espanola and other small rural Ontario towns have dealt with decreased industrial assessments by raising residential taxes, cutting jobs and slashing infrastructure spending.  Tax shift: Companies dump burden of taxes on squeezed municipalities (Globe and Mail)

Eastern Ont Financial challenges 2015

Michelle LewinFOCA’s Property Tax Position – OVERVIEW