Property prices rise in Canada by an average of 4.8% a year and local municipalities will levy tax on the appreciated value of our properties. This means more money we have to folk over to the government and this usually translates to less disposable income.
The best way to handle a property tax increase is to file an appeal with your local municipality. The following highlights the main steps required to file an appeal:
i) Compare your assessed value with similar properties in your area to determine if it is overvalued. In order to get an idea of the value of similar properties in your area you can contact your neighbours and discuss if they have similar property values given the fact that the structure of your homes are similar. You can also contact your Real Estate Agent and request a listing of properties either for sale or recently sold that are similar to your home.
ii) Visit aboutmyproperty.ca and your local municipalities website (in Toronto- Toronto.ca) to learn more about your property assessment.
iii) Request a comparable property report from MPAC.
iv) Request your home appraisal from your lender and request a report of similar properties that have recently sold from your real estate agent. More likely than not your bank will have an appraisal report for your property to fund the mortgage or a report form a similar property in your neighbourhood
v) When filing your Request for Reconsideration, include compelling reasons and supporting documentation, such as recent home appraisals and photos. This is the most important step in the whole process. If you seriously feel that your property is overvalued than it is important to send adequate evidence to support your claim. For example, provide pictures and reports from home inspectors that suggest a lower value than the appraised value provided by your municipality.
Filing an appeal is definitely time consuming and may cause you to incur certain upfront costs but it can save you a significant amount of money for future years.