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.
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:
Removal of Vacant & Excess Land Subclass Discounts
Halton Region is removing the vacant and excess land subclass discounts in 2020 through s. 313(1.3) of the Municipal Act, 2001, pending approval from the Minister of Finance.
Through Bill 70, the Province provided additional tax policy flexibility for municipalities. This included the ability to change the vacant and excess land subclass discounts. They provide a property tax reduction of 30% to commercial and 35% to industrial properties with vacant or excess land. Since 2017, Regional staff have undertaken extensive consultation and review to assess options. These discounts are only available to the commercial and industrial property classes. As a result, they are being subsidized by the other property classes. In order to promote equity amongst taxpayers, it was recommended that the discounts be removed.
Regional Council approved through Report No. FN-18-19 the removal of the discounts in the 2020 taxation year to promote equity amongst taxpayers. This is pending Minister of Finance approval through an amendment to O. Reg. 580/17.