A wave of new property tax assessments has hit Ontario homeowners. The form we receive is a blur of numbers, and it’s not easy to figure out what will happen to your property taxes. In fact, we’re still missing one key piece of information to work out our 2013 property taxes.
My home’s assessment went up 23% from 2008 to 2012. Does this mean my taxes will go up 23%? Nope. Assessments get phased in over 4 years.
My phased in assessment increase for 2013 is 5.7%. Does this mean my taxes will go up 5.7%? Nope. There’s more to it than that.
My form tells me that the average phased-in assessment went up 6.4% in my area. So, my assessment actually went up 0.7% less than the average. Does this mean my property taxes will go down 0.7%? Hahahaha! Property taxes don’t go down.
The average property tax increase has nothing to do with assessments. Each municipality goes through a drawn out political process to decide on a tax increase. It begins with strong talk of a 0% increase. Then the municipality says that to get a 0% increase, they have to cut food programs for starving children, close libraries, and eliminate all arts funding. After the ensuing public outcry, the municipality announces a slightly more than inflation property tax increase.
Suppose that the municipality decides on a 3% tax increase. Then I can expect an increase of about 0.7% less than this, or about 2.3% for 2013. You can use the information on your assessment form to get an idea of what your property tax increase is likely to be. This process has given me reasonably good predictions in the past. Your mileage may vary.