Homeowners can appeal property assessment
Posted: Oct 19, 2012 11:34 AM ET
Last Updated: Oct 20, 2012 10:11 AM ET
If you disagree with your property assessment it can be appealed, says the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, which recently assessed more than 250,000 properties in Ottawa.
While some homeowners won't see a change or may even get a reduction in their city taxes, others face a signficant increase, such as 89-year-old May Fagan.
Fagan bought her Westboro home in 1964. Since 2008, when Fagan's house was last assessed, its value has increased by $227,000.Westboro resident May Fagan reads her property assessment. In four years the value of her home has increased 70 per cent, according to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. (Ashley Burke/CBC)
Fagan said she's worried about how this will affect her property taxes.
"I'm just living from day to day, hand to mouth, I only function upon my pension and to be able to divide it again, it takes bread out of my mouth," Fagan said.
Average value of Ottawa home rose 26% in last 4 years
New property assessments started hitting mailboxes this week.
The average value of an Ottawa home has risen 26 per cent in the last four years, based on provincial assessments. The city said it would adjust property taxes based on how much a property value has changed compared to the average.
Property owners whose assessments have risen above the average can expect to see a rise in their property taxes. The average value of a residence in Rideau-Vanier, for example, has risen nearly five per cent above the city average in the last four years.
For Fagan, whose home value increased 70 per cent during that same period, that's 44 per cent more than the city average.
Westboro homeowner Natalie Macdonald is also worried about her property taxes.
"It's basically almost tripled," said Macdonald. "And I'm concerned that my property taxes will also go up."
Homeowners can file request for reconsideration
Marcel Clement, Ottawa's representative for MPAC, said homeowners can file a request for reconsideration if they dispute the corporation's findings.
"Province-wide, we're valuing close to five million properties so it stands to reason that we're not going to get them all right," said Clement.In the past 15 years, Nepean homeowner Lewis Auerbach has appealed his assessment three times and with some success. The value of one of his homes was lowered $50,000.
"Check what other people in the neighbourhood got and go to your MPP and say this is a dumb system," Auerbach said. "We need a system that is simple, that people can understand."
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