Your total property tax bill provides for more than just the cost of Regional services. The Region, like the city or town that you live in, prepares a budget each year, with a large part of the operating costs funded through property taxes.
The Region considers it very important for taxpayers to understand what services they receive for their tax dollars and how their tax dollars are being spent.
How is my property tax calculated?
Your property tax is calculated annually using your property's assessed value, as found on your Property Assessment Notice, and the Council-approved property tax rate.
How is the value of my property assessed?
The value of your property is assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) (external link), the largest assessment jurisdiction in North America responsible for assessing more than five million properties in Ontario.
There are five major factors that generally account for 85 per cent of your property value:
- Living area
- Age of property
- Lot dimensions
- Quality of construction
MPAC's role is to accurately assess and classify all properties in Ontario in compliance with the Assessment Act and regulations set by the Government of Ontario. The accuracy of these assessments help ensure property owners pay their fair share, and nothing more.
This video shows how the value of your property is assessed:
How is the property tax rate calculated?
Each year, Regional Council approves the budget needed to support Regional services. This budget informs the determined property tax rate and is based on many factors, including citizen priorities, assessments and valuations.
How does the 2016 reassessment affect my taxes?
In 1998, the Province introduced the Current Value Assessment (CVA) method of property taxation for all properties across Ontario. The purpose of this assessment, conducted every four years by the MPAC, is to:
- ensure properties are assessed using current market values
- recalculate municipal tax rates based on revised assessment values
- spread increases in assessments over four years
- shift property taxes burden between properties based on the revised values
The most recent reassessment reflects a legislated valuation date of January 1, 2016.
How will the reassessment affect my 2017-2020 taxes?
The Region experienced higher market value increases than the province as a whole. The 2016 reassessment reflects a legislated valuation date of January 1, 2016, for the 2017-2020 property tax years, resulting in a Region-wide increase of 27 per cent over the 2012 assessment, as seen below.
||January 1, 2012 valuation
||January 1, 2016 valuation
|Total taxable CVA
The reassessment does not result in an increase in total property taxes collected by municipalities. Municipal tax rates are recalculated such that the same amount of total municipal taxes is collected based on the revised assessment values. The reassessment does, however, result in shifts in property taxes between properties. Generally, if a property’s CVA increases more than the average increase in CVA, that property will experience an increase in property taxes. Conversely, if a property’s CVA increases less than the average increase, that property will experience a decrease in property taxes.
Postponement of the 2021 Reassessment
In March 2020, the Provincial government announced the postponement of the 2021 reassessment. This was done to provide municipal governments with the capacity to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.
With this postponement, the valuation date of a property’s current value assessment remains as at January 1, 2016 and, excluding any in-year changes to a property, the current value assessment used for 2021 taxation is the same as what was used for 2020 taxation.
In March 2021, the Province’s 2021 Budget Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy announced that Ontario is implementing a further postponement of the property tax reassessment.
What if I'm having trouble paying my taxes?
If you are a residential property owner experiencing financial hardship, there are a number of programs offering assistance including:
Optional Business Subclass
On November 5, 2020, the Province released the 2020 Ontario Budget which included the proposal of a new optional small business subclass. The legislation to amend the Assessment Act and accompanying regulations have not yet been released. The Region of Halton, in collaboration with the 4 Local Municipalities (City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Milton and Town of Oakville), will review the legislation once available. To allow for a comprehensive review of the tax policy decisions the Province is providing through the amendments and regulation, the Region is not currently anticipating adopting the optional small business subclass in 2021.