Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday July 13, 2016
Hamilton property values spike in latest MPAC assessment
Average residential property values in Hamilton have spiked 27 per cent since 2012, leaving homeowners to wonder if tax hikes will follow.
The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation reassesses the value of all properties in Ontario every four years. Cities use that data to figure out how much you pay in taxes.
While Hamilton’s assessed property values have jumped, the city didn’t even make the Top 5 list for biggest municipal increases. The poster-child for overinflated home prices, Toronto, saw an average increase of 30 per cent, as did Oakville and Burlington. Richmond Hill and Markham topped the greater GTA with average increases of 47 and 45 per cent, respectively.
A hot housing market is largely responsible for the dramatic boost, said Greg Baxter, director of valuation and customer relations for the non-profit assessment corporation.
“There are always pockets in every community where the market behaves differently,” he said. “But in the GTA, and extending all the way to Hamilton, in general real estate values are increasing substantially.”
It’s the kind of news that worries local taxpayers waiting for MPAC notices that started going out July 4 in Hamilton. It makes city officials nervous, too — mostly because they’re braced for phone calls from residents asking if their taxes will go up 27 per cent.
The answer is no — and in fact, a property value increase doesn’t even guarantee your taxes will go up, either. The city has a dedicated page on hamilton.ca to answer resident questions on property reassessment. (Continued: Hamilton Spectator)