Property Assessment and Classification Review - Appendix A

APPENDIX A: TERMS OF REFERENCE

Terms of Reference:
Review of Ontario Regulation 282/98 (Phase 2)
by Marcel Beaubien, MPP, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex

Context

Prior to property tax reform in 1998, municipalities had little flexibility in setting tax rates for different types of properties. In order to provide municipalities with more flexibility to respond to local priorities, the Province implemented a property classification system as part of reform in 1998.

Ontario Regulation 282/98 was filed on June 12, 1998. It defines the property classes and sub-classes and sets out the prerequisites for properties to be included in each class.

It is the responsibility of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), formerly the Ontario Property Assessment Corporation (OPAC), to assess all properties in Ontario in accordance with policies determined by the Minister of Finance and as set out in O. Reg. 282/98.

Review Mandate - Phase 1

When the Minister of Finance announced a review of the property assessment process in Ontario in December 2000, he provided a mandate to Marcel Beaubien, MPP, as Special Advisor, to conduct a review of three key areas:

  • the operational structure of OPAC, including the composition of the Board of Directors;
  • the working relationship between OPAC and the provincial government; and
  • the regulation which defines property classifications (O. Reg. 282/98).

As a result of the review, Mr. Beaubien submitted a Report on the Review of the Property Assessment Process to the Minister of Finance on April 2, 2001. The report made specific recommendations for immediate implementation in regards to the first two areas of the mandate. The final aspect of the mandate, to review Ontario Regulation 282/98, was identified as warranting further review and consultation.

Review Mandate - Phase 2

As announced on July 18, 2001, the Minister of Finance has extended the appointment of Marcel Beaubien, MPP, as a Special Advisor, to continue a review of issues arising under O. Reg. 282/98.

The issues to be considered by Mr. Beaubien during the second phase of the review include the following:

  • the number, scope and definition of property classes and sub-classes;
  • the assessment methodology applied to unique properties such as farms and linear properties;
  • the linkages between assessment classifications and related public policy objectives of the Government of Ontario; and
  • any other matters governed by Ontario Regulation 282/98 or matters that may fall outside the purview of the Regulation but within related assessment policy or tax policy jurisdiction.

Limitations

Matters pertaining to limits on tax increases set out in the Continued Protection for Property Taxpayers Act, 2000 (Bill 140) are outside the scope of this review and will not be considered for recommendations.

Structure of Consultations

Consultations may be conducted through any manner of public and or private meetings and through the solicitation of written submissions.

Consultations should include representation from individual taxpayers, businesses and municipalities, as well as taxpayer, industry and municipal associations.



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