Who is Responsible?
Three governments and one corporation play a role in property assessment and taxation.
Assessment and Tax Legislation - Province of Ontario
The Provincial Government sets the legislative framework for assessment and taxation in Ontario. It does this by creating legislation, called Provincial Statutes. The Government also creates regulations, which are authorized under the Statutes. The principal ministry involved in setting assessment and taxation policies is the Ministry of Finance, through the Assessment and Municipal Acts.
Assessed Value - Municipal Property Assessment Corporation
The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is responsible for assessing all property in Ontario. It operates under the authority of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation Act. Every municipality in Ontario is a member of the Corporation. The Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors who are appointed by the Minister of Finance. MPAC does not set assessment policy but it does administer these policies. Its main responsibility is to calculate assessment values and to classify properties according to their use, for each of the over four million properties in Ontario. All properties are provided a Notice of Assessment in November of each year. These values are also provided to municipalities on an annual assessment roll. The City, Region and the Province use these values when they calculate property taxes and education taxes.
Taxes - City, Region and Province
The City collects property taxes on behalf of the City of Mississauga, Region of Peel, and the Province of Ontario (Education). Each level of Government is responsible for its own tax rates.
The formulae for calculating residential property taxes are :
Assessed Value x City Tax Rate = Amount of City Property Tax
Assessed Value x Regional Tax Rate = Amount of Regional Property Tax
Assessed Value x Education Tax Rate = Amount of Education Property Tax
|City Property Tax + Regional Property Tax + Education Property Tax = Total Property Tax|
How is my assessment determined?
The City of Mississauga does not determine the value of your property. This is done by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) which is completely separate and independent of the City of Mississauga. The Assessment Act requires that the assessed value of your property be based on what the property would likely sell for on a specific date. For the 2004 taxation year, the valuation date is June 30, 2003. Local property sales occurring around that date provide a basis as to the assessed value of similar, unsold properties. MPAC continually collects information about properties to ensure that those with similar features (age, size, location, construction, etc.) have similar but not necessarily identical assessed values.
I disagree with my assessment.
You may contact MPAC to discuss your assessment or verify details about your property. If you still have concerns, you may ask MPAC for a reconsideration of your assessment. There is no fee for a Request for Reconsideration (RFR) and the request may be made at any time during the year. You can obtain an RFR application on the MPAC web site (www.mpac.ca) or by calling 1-866-296-MPAC (6722). Early in the year, an appeal can be filed with the Assessment Review Board (ARB) for a fee. The ARB is an independent tribunal of the Province of Ontario. The ARB appeal deadline for 2004 is March 31, 2004. After that date, a Request for Reconsideration remains the only option.
Is my assessment right?
Ask yourself if your assessed value is close to what you would have expected to sell your property for in June of 2003. What were similar properties selling for at that time? MPAC is now providing an on-line service called About My Property. Using this service, property owners can review basic assessment information for their own property or comparable (similar) properties. Further information can be obtained from MPAC at www.mpac.ca or by calling 1-866-296-MPAC (6722).
How are tax rates calculated?
Annually, the City and Region each establish a budget to provide for municipal services and infrastructure. Taxes represent approximately 50 to 60 per cent of the City's and Region's budget needs. A tax rate is calculated in accordance with Provincial legislation which meets the funding requirements identified in the budget. The Province sets the education tax rate for all properties.
The residential tax rate is the same province-wide. Tax rates have been adjusted downward to ensure that the City, Region and Province do not receive a windfall gain as a result of the increase in assessment. Legislation requires that City and Region tax rates are calculated on a city-wide basis. We are not able to have different residential rates for each ward nor for individual properties. We are also not able to adjust tax rates for municipal or education services that an individual property or taxpayer does not use.
Why have my taxes changed?
Four factors have contributed to your change in taxes from 2002 to 2003. The magnitude of the change will vary based on your assessment.
For 2003, MPAC updated the Current Value Assessment (CVA) from June 30, 1999 to June 30, 2001. This has resulted in an increase of 12.4 per cent for the average residential property assessment. The City of Mississauga has adjusted the tax rates down to offset this increase. If your assessment increased more than the average, you will see an increase in your total tax bill.
City Council approved a 3.8 per cent tax increase on the City's portion of your taxes for operations this year. Regional Council approved a 2.57 per cent tax increase on the Region's portion of your taxes for operations this year.
GO Transit Funding Realignment
During 2002, the Province took over funding responsibility for GO Transit. Previously, a portion of the Go Transit operating costs were collected through the Region's taxes. This amount is now being collected by the City to fund local transit service. The City's Levy was increased as a result of this transfer and the Regional Levy reduced by an equivalent amount. This appears as a 6.49 per cent increase on the City portion of the tax bill and a 3.28 per cent decrease on the Region portion of the tax bill.
The Province has adjusted the education rate as a result of the reassessment. This year residential assessments in Mississauga have increased more than the provincial average resulting in homeowners seeing an increase of 0.93 per cent in the education portion of their tax bill.
Available Tax Assistance
Two tax relief programs are available to assist low income seniors and persons with disabilities who own and occupy their own home. The Region of Peel offers an interest-free tax deferral where taxes have increased by more than $100. To be eligible, you must be receiving benefits under the Guaranteed Income Supplement Program, the Ontario Disability Support Program or the Family Benefits Act. In addition, the City of Mississauga offers a $500 annual interest free loan to offset annual property taxes. Both loans are secured by a lien to be repaid when the property is sold. Application forms are available by calling the Tax Office at 905-896-5575.
What if I have more questions?
For assessment questions, please contact MPAC at 1-866-296-MPAC (6722).
For tax questions, please contact the Mississauga Tax Office at 905-896-5575 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manager of Revenue