What issues were considered during this review?
This review focused on areas where municipalities and business taxpayer representatives had expressed an interest in working with the Province including:
- clarifying and refining the assessment methodologies applied to special-purpose business properties, such as mills, landfills, industrial lands, billboards, farms and wind turbine towers;
- reviewing the timelines for the assessment appeal process; and
- considering other opportunities to strengthen the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).
Residential property assessments were not within the scope of this review.
The objective is to ensure that the system continues to be fair, accurate, and predictable.
Who led the review?
The review was led by the former Ministry of Finance Parliamentary Assistant Steven Del Duca. The Special Purpose Business Property Assessment Review report was delivered to the Ministers of Finance and Municipal Affairs and Housing on December 17, 2013.
What are the recommendations contained in the Assessment Review (Special Purpose Business Property Assessment Review) report?
The Assessment Review included 26 overarching recommendations for strengthening the property assessment system, as well as seven recommendations for business properties that involve complex assessment methodologies (mills, industrial lands, farms, landfills, billboards and wind turbine towers).
The Assessment Review contained five categories of overarching recommendations: Accountability, Roles and Responsibilities; Assessment Methodology and Advance Disclosure; Data Accuracy and Integrity; Appeals; and Municipal Assessment at Risk Strategies.
The implementation of these five categories were guided by contributions of the Assessment Review Reference Committee, established by the Ministry in Spring 2014. The Province is continuing to work with MPAC, municipalities and other stakeholders to implement improvements to the property assessment system.
What was the process for engaging / consulting with stakeholders to implement the Assessment Review recommendations?
To guide implementation of the overarching recommendations contained in the Assessment Review, the Ministry of Finance established a Reference Committee with municipal staff and stakeholder representatives. The committee had five sub-groups, corresponding to the five categories of the overarching recommendations: Accountability, Roles and Responsibilities; Assessment Methodology and Advance Disclosure; Data Accuracy and Integrity; Appeals; and Municipal Assessment at Risk Strategies.
The Ministry also held focus group sessions with property assessment and tax payer representatives to obtain input on the advance disclosure recommendations.
The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and the Assessment Review Board (ARB) also actively participated in the implementation process, and are continuing their own initiatives to improve the property assessment system, many of which are aligned with the Assessment Review recommendations.
What is the status of the implementation of the Assessment Review recommendations?
Please see the SPBPAR Progress update bulletin released on April 8, 2016 for the status of the implementation of the recommendations.
What formal direction did the Ministry provide to MPAC?
The provincial direction, as authorized by Section 10 of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation Act, sets standards for the provision of specific assessment services to municipalities and taxpayers for specific property types for the 2016 reassessment. These new assessment services include: information and data sharing policy, assessment methodology guides and an advance disclosure process. The provincial direction was published in The Ontario Gazette on April 18, 2015.
What is advance disclosure?
This new process being implemented by MPAC provides municipalities and business property owners with the opportunity to contribute to the determination of assessed values before the assessment roll is finalized.
For select property types, MPAC has:
- Established a new advance disclosure process for the 2016 reassessment, including the release of market analytics and preliminary values in advance of roll return;
- Developed detailed technical methodology guides that will serve as a useful tool for MPAC’s assessors and explain valuation procedures to stakeholders;
- Published an information and data sharing policy explaining what information MPAC requires from which parties and for what purposes; and
- Consulted on and published Market Valuation Reports containing market analytics.
The advance disclosure process is expected to be completed by summer 2016. The methodology guides and market valuation reports can be viewed on MPAC’s website: https://www.mpac.ca/HowAssessmentWorks/Disclosure2016AssessmentUpdate