Taxpayers won’t pay more for rising home value, yet

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There is a little relief for residential taxpayers this year, but at least one local politician is worried it will come with a cost down the line.

The provincial government has ordered the Municipal Property Tax Assessment Corporation to hold the line on the next phase of market value assessment.

With housing rates soaring, taxpayers across the province could have seen the value of the homes skyrocket – doubling in some areas of Lambton – because of the recent housing boom.

The Sarnia Lambton Association of Realtors says the average home price in October was $509,895.

Officials said that’s climbed 25 per cent from 2020 and just shy of 50 per cent from 2019.
With market value assessment based on home sales, that could have lead to massive tax increases. Instead, the property tax rates will continue to reflect the market value of your home in 2016.

The market rate only goes up if you’ve made changes to your house or if you have recently purchased your home – then you pay the full 2021 rate.

While some local politicians were concerned about the abrupt increase the housing prices could cause, Plympton-Wyoming Councillor Netty McEwen is worried putting off the pain won’t help either.

“We should be updating assessments now rather than later,” she told councillors Nov. 17. “I just think it is going to be a big jump for all ratepayers if we wait a couple of years.”

MPAC added there have been some other changes to the tax rules for 2021. Farmers can now claim up to 30 acres of their land in a woodlot exception – that’s up from the current 20 acre limit.

The province is also going to simplify the rules around the assessment of pipelines.