Toronto property value assessments see 23% spike
A real estate agent puts up a "sold" sign in front of a house in Toronto on Tuesday, April 20, 2010. (Darren Calabrese / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Friday, November 9, 2012 12:24PM EST
Homeowners across Toronto have received their latest property value assessments this week and many are seeing huge spikes, averaging out at 23 per cent across the city.
The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) sends out new evaluations based on market conditions and real estate trends every four years. Toronto real estate prices, however, have risen dramatically in recent years, so some homeowners are seeing a much larger assessment spike than usual.
John Santos moved into the Junction Triangle neighbourhood 11 years ago. In the time since he’s lived there, the value of his home has more than doubled -- from $190,000 to a whopping $450,000.
For good reason, says Santos -- the area has it all.
“You're close to everything,” he told CTV News this week. “School, banks, everything is here.”
Santos’ ward is among those that have seen the biggest spikes in property values in this latest round of assessments. The others include Davenport, both Willowdale wards, Trinity-Spadina and Toronto Centre-Rosedale.
“Neighbourhoods that are experiencing higher-than-average assessment increases are typically neighbourhoods that are desirable, in high demand and are commanding higher-than-average selling prices,” explained Joe Regina, an MPAC account manager.
However, not all homes with increased values will see a rise in property taxes -- largely just those with higher-than-average increases. The City itself doesn’t benefit from assessment spikes either. When property assessments go up, the tax rate is lowered to make the end result “revenue neutral.”
While those looking to sell their homes will be pleased with the spike, those on fixed incomes can be hit hard by any increase on their tax bills, says Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher.
“It really hurts the seniors who are trying to stay in the neighbourhood, and live out the rest of their days in the neighbourhood where they bought that house for $32,000 and now it's worth $700,000,” she told CTV News.
The increase in value will be phased in over the next four years -- so in 2013, a property will gain a quarter of its total increase. The full increase in value won't be counted on residents’ tax bills until 2016.
With a report by CTV Toronto’s Natalie Johnson