Issues and Projects
Access to Assessment Data: The GBA has communicated with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) on a number of occasions to express concerns about the assessment process and access to assessment information. It is the view of the GBA that information on assessed values should be easily available, at no cost to taxpayers, and in a timely manner. More Info...
MPAC and Small Undevelopable Island Assessments – Update Feb 21st, 2017
Representatives from GBA met with officials from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) to discuss our concerns with how MPAC assess small undevelopable islands. Attending from MPAC were senior managers as well as assessment modellers. We expressed our position that their current model for assessing small undevelopable islands is unfair and illogical. Under their current model the assessment on undevelopable islands of 1 acre and less is reduced by 90% but by only 50% on undevelopable islands between 1 and 2 acres and by nothing on larger undevelopable islands. We pointed out that some municipalities along the coast have regulations that preclude development on islands that are even larger than 2 acres. We stated that we feel strongly that all small undevelopable islands under the minimum size threshold for that location should be discounted by 90%, regardless of size, and thereby have relatively nominal assessed value. After much discussion there was agreement that their current model may not be defensible and should be reviewed. They made a commitment to us to: review all small islands that are zoned as undevelopable under the terms of the Municipal Official Plans to determine how many of these there are; determine what the impact would be if they apply a 90% discount across the board; and review the overall policy. If they do adjust their model it will not apply until 2018 on islands whose owners have not filed a Request for Approval (RfR) in the recent 2017 assessment window.
Once we hear back from MPAC to confirm what they propose to do about this situation we will post a further update.
Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program
The MPAC changed the assessment basis for managed forests a few years ago. Several interested organizations, including the GBA have lobbied the MPAC to return assessment of the Managed Forest class to the same as farmland (25%) and to reduce the property size eligible for this program.
The Managed Forest Program is part of the larger Conservation Lands Tax Incentive Program. This program also includes the Wetlands Conservation Program which is of interest to many GBA members. The GBA will be assisting local associations to review the mapping and eligibility of wetlands for this program.
News: The Ministry of Natural Resources has recently completed a review of the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program to determine whether it was meeting the intended purpose. This review is in turn being reviewed by the Ontario Forestry Association and the Ontario Woodlot Association. A committee has been formed to make recommendations to the Minister of Finance.