Gordon resident upset with MPAC reassessment process

GORDON—While he is not very happy with the fact his taxes have gone up over 100 percent with the property he owns having been reassessed at over double its previous value by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), a Gordon/Barrie Island resident is even more upset with the lack of communication provided by MPAC officials throughout this process.

Jack Bould is calling on Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha to look into his concerns on this. “I finally got in touch with MPAC and they said the backdating of the value of my home is apparently legal, but I don’t think the process is fair,” he said, noting his property value assessment more than doubled with the newest reassessment by MPAC.

Mr. Bould explained, “I had an evaluation done on our property which was to be good until 2016. They reassessed our property and it ending up being over double the value of the house and my taxes have gone up over 100 percent. I had done renovations on our house starting in 2008 and I received my assessment on the property in October or November of last year.”

“Then MPAC evaluators came by about a month ago and did a physical assessment of the property and came up with the new assessment value but never informed me about it,” said Mr. Bould. “I was talking to Carrie Lewis (Gordon Barrie Island clerk) and she said there have been a few people who have had the same type of concerns with the way the reassessment was done and the increase in taxes.”

Ms. Lewis told the Recorder, “for those people who have concerns with the increase in their assessment, their only recourse is to ask for reconsideration of it through MPAC. In Mr. Bould’s case the reassessed value for his property has doubled with the addition done on their home.”

“What they (MPAC) should be doing is notifying the property owner that they are coming to do a physical inspection for assessment of our property before they do (in his case he was not at home when the assessment took place),” said Mr. Bould. “Secondly, when they do the reassessment, let us know what the decision is on this before the township sends us a tax bill that shows an increase in taxes of over 100 percent.”

In his letter to Mr. Mantha, Mr. Bould explained, “I put an addition on my home in 2008-2009. Last fall I received a property assessment from MPAC stating that over the next four years a tax increase will be phased in. Taxes for this year are rated on a value of $96,750, ending in 2016 with a value of $156,000.”

“Several weeks ago someone from MPAC visited my house following up on my renovation,” wrote Mr. Bould. “I never received anything from MPAC following this visit. Thursday’s (municipal) tax invoice backdated my taxes to 2012, increasing the value to the home last year by $102,000 with back taxes of $1,137.51 outstanding. Also an increase to the value this year from $96,750 to $192,500 in effect doubling the taxes I owe this year. I now have an outstanding debt of $3,009.45, which I am in no way prepared for.”

“I called the township clerk, Carrie Lewis, who was very helpful and assured me this was in fact the case,” continued Mr. Bould. “She called MPAC to confirm. Still in disbelief I called the MPAC call centre—that was of no help whatsoever. I called Carrie back and she informed me that her representative at MPAC said the increases were correct. Carrie gave me the number for the Sudbury MPAC office (where he spoke to a representative) who was very helpful. Unfortunately, she explained the assessment was current. She was a bit surprised I hadn’t received anything in the mail from MPAC yet, explaining these changes. Needless to say this leaves me scrambling a bit for money.”

“I don’t dispute the evaluation of my home and property but am very upset with the manner in which I found out about my new assessment and the back tax,” wrote Mr. Bould in his letter to Mr. Mantha. “Although legal, I think it is unethical. I am very particular with my finances and budget for everything. This has thrown my budget for the year out the window.”

The Recorder was unable to get a comment from an MPAC representative prior to this week’s press deadline.

 Tom Sasvari