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Regional Differences in Toronto's Property Assessments

Following up on my earlier post about the new Toronto property assessment results, I've noticed quite a bit of news coverage on the issue in the past couple days.

One of the articles in today's Globe and Mail includes a ward-by-ward breakdown of the average assessment changes. I've illustrated it in the map, below.

The regional character of the shifts is obvious. Scarborough values aren't rising very quickly. Etobicoke is keeping pace with the average. Downtown housing is hot, but condos are not. (I suspect it's the condos holding down the average values in wards 20, 27, 28 and 23.)

Since property taxes are reset based on the average assessment growth -- it's 11.93% for residences in Toronto, but I'm not sure what it is across all property classes -- most of the green areas will actually see their taxes go down, even if the next budget has its expected 3% increase.

Red means it is quite likely your taxes are going to go up quite a bit faster than the rest of the city.

Of course, this all depends on your personal circumstances. I live in ward 29, and my assessment is up about 27%. My neighbour is only up 13% and is still assessed at a value below what he paid for the house in 2003.

There are so many complaints about the provincial MPAC system that it is now being investigated by the Ontario ombudsman. However, this investigation is more likely to cover the way in which MPAC determines what individual homes are worth. It will not be questioning the concept of current value assessment itself.

That means that -- no matter what John Barber wishes -- there is likely to be no change in a system that continues to focus more and more of the municipality's tax burden on old-city homeowners and businesses.

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