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Property assessments in Pembroke rise 21.7 per cent in four years 0

By Stephen Uhler, OBSERVER MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST

Average assessments in Pembroke are expected to increase approximately 5.3 per cent in 2013, according to the latest information from MPAC.

This is indicated within the 2012 Property Assessment Notices, which have been mailed to more than 53,000 property owners in the city and Renfrew County.

“Residential property values have increased by an average of approximately 21.7 per cent in Pembroke since 2008 when the last assessment update was delivered,” said Cecilia Buelow, Municipal Relations Representative in the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation’s (MPAC) Pembroke office.

She said because of the four-year phase-in program, property owners will see an average assessment increase of 5.3 per cent in 2013. The phase-in program does not apply to decreases in assessment which are applied immediately for the 2013 property tax year.

Buelow said an increase in assessment does not necessarily mean an increase in property taxes. If the assessed value of a home has increased by the same percentage as the average in the municipality, there might be no increase in the property taxes paid by property owners.

She said residential property values have increased by approximately 17 per cent in Renfrew County. With the four-year phase in, property taxpayers will see an average increase of 3.2 per cent for the 2013 tax year.

Since 2008, waterfront property in Renfrew County has increased in value, by approximately 18.3 per cent. With the four-year phase-in, property taxpayers will see an average increase of 2.9 per cent for the 2013 property tax year.

Farmland in Renfrew County has increased by approximately 35.3 per cent. With the four-year phase-in, property taxpayers will see an average increase of approximately 8.8 per cent.

According to Larry Hummel, MPAC’s chief assessor, values increased for all categories of agricultural land in every area of the province. The increase is based on a number of factors including that farmland in many parts of the province remains in high demand.

Under Ontario law, farm homes and one acre of property on which the home sits are taxed at the same rate as residential property in the municipality. The maximum tax rate for farmland is 25 per cent of the residential tax rate and municipalities can adjust the tax rate so that it is lower than 25 per cent of the residential rate.

“Our values reflect the local real estate market and confirm that most homeowners in the area have seen an increase in the value of their property over the past four years,” Buelow said.

MPAC’s role is to accurately assess every property in Ontario.

“Property owners should ask themselves if they could have sold their property for its assessed value on January 1, 2012. If the answer is yes, then their assessment is accurate. If not, we are committed to working with them to get it right,” Buelow said.

Property owners can check the accuracy of their assessment at www.aboutmyproperty.ca. This website allows owners to easily compare the value of their property to others in their neighbourhood and community. Registration information is included with every notice mailed this fall.

If property owners believe their assessment is not correct, they have the option of filing a Request for Reconsideration and MPAC will review their assessment free of charge.

For more detailed analysis of the changes in values that have taken place across Ontario, refer to MPAC’s special Assessment Update Edition of MarketSnapshot, available at www.mpac.ca.

Hours will be extended at MPAC’s Pembroke office during the notice mailing period this fall. Property owners can also call MPAC’s Customer Contact Centre toll free at 1-866-296-MPAC (6722).

Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist

stephen.uhler@sunmedia.ca

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