Councillor Shelley Carroll

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Current Value Assessment Freeze Over

Questions are coming in about the news that the CVA freeze is over. The freeze is being lifted without any immediate changes proposed to this method of assessment so let's review how it works.

Remember that the system is based on the average increase city-wide. If you are above or below the average increase in value, your tax rate will change. If your home increased in value but only by about the average amount, your tax rate will remain stable. The percentage increase affected by the assessment is calculated according to the difference between the city-wide average increase and your home's percentage increase. that means that people living in hot market areas will see increases but not 30%, as the Toronto Real Estate Board suggested this morning.

New assessments will begin to arrive this fall from the Provincial Agency that completes all property assessments throughout the Province, known as MPAC. This means that it won't be until early 2009 that city budgetary increases are applied against your new tax rate. When the City of Toronto 2008 Budget is introduced on Monday, January 28th, it will be based on the assessment you currently have in hand.


By way of comment, I do want to point out that the lifting of this freeze is surprising even if it was originally introduced as a two year freeze. The Province froze the practice of Current Value Assessment across Ontario following the Ombudsperson's report that called the system "secretive, inaccurate and unfair." So one has to wonder if any change will be proposed when the Ontario House of Commons opens its first session in 2008.