- by Jim Hutton

Many people believe that if MPAC assesses their property higher, than it was previously assessed, then their taxes will go up. This is a common misunderstanding.

Generally your taxes will not be affected by a MPAC reassessment. The overriding driver of tax increases will always be municipal spending.  

If city expenses do not change, then after a MPAC reassessment, your taxes will only go up if your assessed value increases relative to the average assessed value.

In other words, if you built an addition on your property, then your assessment will increase relative to the average assessment and your taxes will go up. Generally if everyone’s assessed value increases by the same percentage then there will be no tax increase due solely to MPAC’s reassessment. 

However, your taxes could actually go down after a MPAC reassessment.

For example, if you live on the east hill in a well-established older community and there is significant construction of higher valued new homes on the west hill, then the average assessed value will likely increase due to these new high-valued homes being added to the assessment. Since the percentage increase in the assessed value of your home will be lower than the percentage increase of the average property, than your taxes will likely go down. source

In regard to reassessment, MPAC has the following statement on their website:

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government has postponed the 2020 Assessment Update. They have indicated that property assessments for the 2022 and 2023 property tax years will continue to be based on the fully phased-in January 1, 2016 current values. This means your property assessment for the 2022 property tax year will be the same as the 2021 tax year, unless there have been changes to your property.”  source

So, unless the Ontario government has changed its mind the assessed value of properties in 2023 will be based on the fully phased-in 2016 assessment. i.e. no MPAC-driven changes from your 2020 taxes.

It's important to keep in mind that the city only taxes us to cover that portion of city expenses not covered by fees and charges etc.

There is no evidence that the city grows expenses to take advantage of MPAC assessment increases. This is highly unlikely.

In Owen Sound they've increased expenses largely due to inefficient management that drives up the cost of service delivery.

By far the greatest inefficiency is the propensity of the city to grow the workforce beyond that required by similar sized municipalities delivering similar services.

My estimate is that this particular inefficiency is costing Owen Sound taxpayers a minimum of $4 million per year. You can see how I come up with this figure on my website owensoundtaxes.com.



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