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Property assessment information

Property assessments

History of assessment

For more than 200 years, properties in Ontario have been assessed in order to determine their municipal taxation level. In 1970, the government of Ontario took over municipal assessments in order to standardize the process across the province. In 1998, responsibility for property assessment was transferred to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). This not-for-profit corporation created by the Province delivers a broad range of assessment services to municipalities, all of which are members of the Corporation. MPAC is responsible for assessing all property in Ontario. These values are provided to municipalities on annual assessment rolls. Municipalities and the Province use these values when they calculate property taxes and education taxes.

How property assessments are done

To establish your property's assessed value, MPAC analyzes property sales in your area. These sales provide a basis for the assessed values of similar properties. MPAC continually collects information about properties to ensure that those with similar features (age, living area, lot dimensions, location, construction, etc.) have similar assessed values. This method - current value assessment - is used by assessment jurisdictions in most provinces as well as by other countries. The Assessment Act requires that your property's assessed value be based on what it would likely have sold for on a specific date. For the 2017 through 2020 taxation years inclusive, the effective valuation date is January 1, 2016, with any market increases in assessment being phased in over this four-year period, while assessment reductions are realized immediately.

If you have further property assessment questions, please refer to our property assessment FAQs. Or should you require further details on your property's assessment, please contact MPAC directly at:

Revision date: July 21, 2016

Assessment FAQs

What is a property assessment notice?

By the end of 2016, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), a not-for-profit corporation created by the Province, will have issued assessment notices to all property owners in Ontario representing property values as of January 1, 2016. The notice also indicated the respective phased-in assessment values for the tax years 2017 to 2020 inclusive. Market increases in assessment between the valuation periods of January 1, 2012 and January 1, 2016 will be phased-in over the next four years, commencing in the 2017 tax year. Decreases in assessment value between said valuation periods, on the other hand, will be realized immediately for tax years 2017 to 2020 inclusive.

In November of any given tax year, MPAC issues notices to taxpayers in situations involving:

  • A change in ownership
  • A change in school support
  • A change in value as a result of a property taxpayer Request for Reconsideration of an assessment or an Assessment Review Board (ARB) decision
  • A change in the property that will either increase or decrease its value; such as an addition
  • A new structure built
  • Additional information found that affected the value of the property

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What is a property assessment?

Assessment is one of several components used to determine your property taxes. Using your property’s assessment value, you can estimate your residential property taxes using the City of Ottawa’s Property Tax Estimator. Please note that the tax estimate(s) provided do not reflect any budgetary increases or specific charges for the property (i.e. local charges).

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Why have I received a property assessment notice in the mail?

The Budget Measures and Interim Appropriation Act, 2007 (Bill 187), which was passed by the Ontario government, altered assessment cycle changes from an annual update to a four-year cycle commencing in the 2009 tax year (based on a January 1, 2008 valuation date). The Act also incorporated mandatory phasing-in of assessment increases over the four-year cycle for residential, farm and managed forest class properties.

Furthermore, the Budget Measures and Interim Appropriation Act, 2008 (Bill 44), expanded the four-year assessment cycle to include all property classes (i.e. residential, commercial, etc.). These phased-in assessment values are used to determine your property taxes for the specified tax years.

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How does MPAC establish the assessed value of my property?

MPAC analyzes real estate market information from similar types of property in your area to establish your property's value. Any one of three methods may be used for this analysis: the selling price of similar properties (i.e. residential), the rental income a property generates (i.e. office buildings and shopping centres), or the cost to replace a property (i.e. industrial buildings). Each method takes the location of a property, the size and quality of any buildings, and features which might add to or take away from a property's value into consideration.

MPAC operates under the authority of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation Act. Every municipality in Ontario is a member of the corporation, which is governed by a board of directors selected by Ontario's Minister of Finance.

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How exactly are residential property taxes calculated?

Residential property taxes are calculated using your assessed value, the municipal tax rate, and the education tax rate, which is set by the Province of Ontario. The formula is: 

  • assessed value x municipal tax rate = amount of municipal property tax
  • assessed value x education tax rate = amount of education property tax
  • municipal property tax + education property tax = your property taxes *

* Please note that, if applicable, other charges such as local improvements, municipal drains, solid waste charges or business improvement area (BIA) charges might be added to your tax bill. Visit our How your property taxes are calculated page.

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What other factors influence my property tax bill?

As noted above, the revenue requirements of the municipality and the amount required by the Province to fund education are also key factors. In addition, any amendments to the provincial legislation affecting municipal taxation could affect your municipal tax rates. Only by applying the current year’s tax rates to your property will you know the overall impact on your property taxes. These rates are not known until the current year’s budget and tax policies are finalized, and the effects of any provincial legislative changes are determined. Visit our Property Tax Estimator page for further information.

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How can I find out the assessed value of properties similar to mine?

You can use MPAC’s About My Property tool to search for comparable assessment values. Instructions for using the tool are provided for you. Remember that January 1, 2016 phased-in assessment values are used for taxation purposes for tax years 2017 to 2020 inclusive. For further information on the About My Property service, please visit MPAC’s website. 

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I purchased my property in 2016. Shouldn't my assessed value be the same as the purchase price?

The sale of real property is affected by many factors, such as a buyer's desire to acquire a particular property and a seller's willingness to reduce the sale price in order to achieve a sale. This could result in similar properties selling for different amounts, which would result in different amounts billed. MPAC therefore determines an assessed value that is in the middle range of selling prices for similar properties. This ensures that the tax burden is equitably shared among similar properties.

Another reason the assessed value and price might not be the same is that the market may have changed between the current valuation date of January 1, 2016 and the date you purchased or negotiated your property.

 

What if I don’t think my assessed value is correct?

You can ask MPAC to have another look at your assessed value by applying for a Request for Reconsideration (RfR). This is the mandatory first step in the appeal process for residential, farm and managed forest properties (for other property classes filing an RfR is optional, therefore owners of such properties may instead file an appeal directly to the Assessment Review Board if they so choose) . The deadline for submitting your RfR for the 2017 tax year is printed on your property assessment notice and is March 31 of the tax year for which you wish to appeal from 2018 to 2020. There is no cost to file an RfR application.

If the reconsideration process results in a change to your assessment, it will be amended accordingly. If not, or if you are not satisfied with the amended assessment provided, you can choose to file a complaint to an independent tribunal called the Assessment Review Board (ARB). The deadline for filing an appeal with the Board is 90 days after MPAC has notified you of its decision in relation to your RfR submission. There is a cost associated with an ARB appeal.

Both you and MPAC will be asked to appear at a hearing before the ARB to present evidence. The Board's decision is binding for both you and MPAC and, if it reduces your assessed value, your taxes will be subsequently be adjusted by the City of Ottawa. The City also has the right to appear at your hearing before the Board. The Assessment Review Board Notice of Complaint form and a list of associated costs for filing an ARB appeal are available on the ARB’s website.

 

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you have questions about your Property Assessment Notice, assessed value or about assessment in general, please contact the MPAC office; toll free at 1-866-296-6722 or by fax at 1-866-297-6703. You can also visit the MPAC website.

If you have any questions about your municipal property taxes or municipal tax rates, please contact the City of Ottawa Revenue Branch at 613-580-2444 (TTY 613-580-2401), by fax at 613-580-2457, or by e-mail at revenue@ottawa.ca.

Last updated: July 21, 2016

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Supplementary and omitted assessments

If you are planning to build a new home or to make an improvement to your property, you should know about supplementary assessment and the resultant property taxes billed on such assessments. A supplementary assessment is an additional assessment (increase in value) resulting from property improvements or changes, which were not reflected in the property tax bill for the current year and occurred after the return of the assessment roll.  An omitted assessment is an additional assessment resulting from building a new structure (i.e. home) or addition, which was not previously recorded on the annual assessment roll.

Supplementary and omitted assessment FAQs

If you are planning to build a new home or to make an improvement to your property, you should know about supplementary assessment and the resultant property taxes billed on such assessments.

What is a supplementary assessment?

A supplementary assessment is an additional assessment (increase in value) resulting from property improvements or changes, which were not reflected in the property tax bill for the current year and occurred after the return of the assessment roll. A supplementary assessment can be processed for the following reasons:  

  • There is an increase in property value because of a new building or improvement
  • A property ceases to be exempt from taxation or ceases to be eligible for assessment at the farm, managed forest, or conservation land classes
  • A property ceases to be classified in a subclass of real property, farmlands awaiting development, commercial or industrial vacant land
  • A property becomes liable for taxation in a different property class

What is an omitted assessment?

An omitted assessment is an additional assessment resulting from building a new structure (i.e. home) or addition, which was not previously recorded on the annual assessment roll. An omitted assessment can be processed for the current tax year and two preceding tax years for the following reasons: 

  • There is an increase in property value because of a new building or improvement
  • To assess and classify land that was previously exempt
  • A property ceases to be classified as managed forest or conservation land

How does the supplementary/omitted assessment work?

When the City issues a building permit, there will most likely be a value change in the property, which creates a supplementary/omitted assessment. Your property assessment will need to be updated to reflect the completed work as a result of the building permit. The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) will mail you a supplementary or omitted assessment notice that outlines such assessment values and the effective date(s) they take effect.

What is a supplementary/omitted tax bill?

For taxation purposes, you will receive a tax bill at a later date called a "supplementary" tax bill. The supplementary tax bill will reflect the additional change in your assessment and taxes owing will be adjusted accordingly.

If the supplementary/omitted tax bill is for a new home, you, as the owner, will be responsible from the effective date of occupancy and/or possession; therefore, creating multiple year supplementary/omitted tax bills.

How is a supplementary tax bill calculated?

Supplementary taxes are determined by multiplying the supplementary assessment (increase in value) by the applicable tax rate and prorating this amount based on the number of days the building has been completed or occupied for the year.

Does this notice mean that my property taxes will go up?

If the supplementary notice is for additions or improvements to your property, then yes, your taxes will in fact increase. Not forgetting that your land may have been previously assessed and taxed accordingly, your supplementary/omitted tax bill may only be for the structure portion of the property.

If your supplementary notice is only for a change in classification, the municipality applies a new tax rate to your property. The new tax rate could be higher or lower than what was previously billed.

For a rough estimate of what you could expect to see on your tax bill and/or supplementary/omitted tax bill, use the tax estimator on this site.

When must the supplementary tax bill be paid?

The bill must be paid by the due date indicated on your supplementary tax bill. The Municipality must provide 21 days notice from the date issued to the due date. Additional assessment occurring from building a new home or addition can result in a supplementary tax bill that can amount to thousands of dollars. It is a good idea to plan for this billing as soon as you start work on your property by putting money aside on a monthly basis to pay the bill when it comes due. The tax estimator on our website can assist you in calculating how much yearly tax to expect. Remember, you only have 21 days from the billing date to pay the supplementary tax bill.
Note: If you are enrolled in the City’s Pre-Authorized Tax Payment Plan, any supplementary tax bill issued must be paid separately by the due date indicated on your tax bill.

Examples of omitted/supplementary assessments

The year in which you build, your land and house are assessed and taxed separately. Once the house is assessed and billed, the following year the taxes are combined and billed in the normal billing cycle of March and June annually. For ease of understanding this sample, the 2011 supplementary bill is for the period of January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, no phased in values were utilized for the 2012 tax year, nor have any Solid Waste, Local or other charges have been factored in.

Billing Type

Year

Description

Assessment Value

Billing Amount

Billing Date

Interim

2011

Land only

$ 80,000

$495

March 2011

Final

2011

Land only

$ 80,000

$495

June 2011

Supplementary

2011

Supplementary Assessment
(Building only)

$ 270,000

$3,341

July 2011 (or)
November 2011

Interim

2012

Land and Building

$ 350,000

$2,066

March 2012

Final

2012

Land and Building

$ 350,000

$2,207
(estimated)

June 2012

For more information, please contact the City of Ottawa's Revenue Branch at:

Tel: 613-580-2444
Fax: 613-580-2457
E-mail: revenue@ottawa.ca

Revision date: July 18, 2016

School support

How to change your current school support

Parents or ratepayers can request a change in the direction of their current school support. The school boards in the Ottawa area are:

  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
  • Ottawa Catholic School Board
  • Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario
  • Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

Once the school board receives and processes the application, they are then sent to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). MPAC will update their records and the change will become effective the following taxation year in your Notice of property assessment.

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Parents or ratepayers who wish to direct their school support to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, can specifically request a change in their direction of school support/electoral status by contacting the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) at:

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
133 Greenbank Road
Ottawa (Nepean) Ontario
K2H 6L3

Questions?
Tel.: 613-721-1820
Fax: 613-820-6968

Ottawa Catholic School Board

Parents or ratepayers, who wish to declare themselves as Catholic school supporters/electors, can specifically request a change in their direction of school support/electoral status by downloading the "Application for Direction of school support" form from the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

In cases where one spouse is non-Catholic, and the property is jointly owned or rented, partners who wish to become Catholic school supporter/elector, can specifically request a change in their direction of school support/electoral status by completing the "Separate school support lease" form at the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

This form should be completed only if one of the owners of the property is non-Catholic. Because it is the tenant who has the power to direct school support, and not the owner, for purposes of the Separate School Lease document, the Catholic becomes the tenant and the non-Catholic becomes the owner. This allows the Catholic partner to direct school support to the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB).

Ottawa Catholic School Board
570 West Hunt Club Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K2G 3R4

Questions?
Tel.: 613-224-2222
Fax: 613-224-5063

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Parents or ratepayers who wish to direct their school support to the French Public School Board, can specifically request a change in their direction of school support/electoral status by downloading and completing the form from the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO). Completed forms must be returned to:

Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario
2445, boulevard St-Laurent
Ottawa (Ontario)
K1G 6C3

Questions?
Tel.: 613-742-8960
1-888-33CEPEO (1-888-332-3736)
Fax: 613-747-3810

Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

Parents or ratepayers who wish to direct their school support to the French catholic school board, can specifically request a change in their direction of school support/electoral status by downloading and completing the "Application for Direction of School Support" from the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est. Completed forms must be returned to:

Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est
a/s Service des finances
4000, rue Labelle
Ottawa (Ontario)
K1J 1A1

Questions?
Tel.: 613-744-2555
1-888-230-5131
Fax: 613-746-3153
 

Last updated: January 16, 2017