By Yvonne J. Hamlin, Stephen Longon and Tosha Cooper
Property assessment and taxation has been a hot topic of conversation in the news recently. A province-wide reassessment for the 2006 taxation year has taken place. From what we have seen, a large number of commercial, industrial and multi-residential properties have been subject to significant increases in assessed values. The impact of the reassessment, coupled with the recent announcement of an investigation by the Ombudsman of Ontario into the transparency and integrity of Ontario’s assessment authority, MPAC, have increased the importance of keeping current with current assessment trends.
The following are some critical dates you should keep in mind if you wish to seek a reduction in your property taxes.
2006 Property Tax Assessment Appeals
Deadline - March 31st, 2006
All property owners in Ontario have now received a 2006 Property Assessment Notice. As 2006 is a reassessment year and as many values have increased significantly, prudent owners and managers should review all notices carefully to ensure that they accurately reflect the value of the property and to ensure that the property has been put in the appropriate tax class. If you have any concerns with the manner in which a property has been valued or classified, you may wish to file a protective appeal. We would be pleased to handle the filing of your appeal. If you wish us to do so, please fax, mail or e-mail a copy of your new Property Assessment Notice to us as soon as possible. Again, the deadline for filing an appeal is March 31st, 2006.
Vacant Unit Rebate Application
If you have a commercial or industrial property with vacant space, the property might be eligible for a rebate of taxes in respect of the vacant space. To qualify, space in a commercial/industrial property must meet the following criteria:
The space must not be used;
The space must be vacant or unfit for occupancy for at least 90 consecutive days (and vacancy starting in 2004 may be counted in arriving at the total of 90 days);
The space must be "clearly delineated"; and,
The space must not be subject to a lease.
It should be noted that each local municipality has its own application form for vacancy rebates. The deadline for filing an application with the municipality is February 28th, 2006. If you wish our assistance with respect to the filing of a vacancy rebate application, please contact us.
Property Tax Relief Applications
If you have a commercial, industrial or multi-residential property and certain .change events. have occurred during 2005, the property might be eligible for tax relief from its local municipality. Some examples of changes that would make a property eligible for a refund include:
The property had a change in classification;
The building became vacant;
The property became exempt from taxation;
A building on the land was demolished or damaged so as to render it "substantially unusable" for its prior use;
The taxpayer was overcharged due to a .gross or manifest error.; and,
Repairs or renovations prevented the normal use of the property for a period of at lease three (3) months.
We would be pleased to assist you in determining whether a property is eligible for such a refund. Again, please note that the deadline for filing this application was February 28th, 2006.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide
to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your
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