For Municipalities

Key Terms

The Assessment Act, 2006 opens new window states that an Assessor “shall assess property at its actual value.” In forming an assessment, the Assessor “shall have regard to the assessment of other properties in the municipality being assessed to ensure that the taxation falls in a uniform manner upon the property that is subject to taxation in the municipality.” One of the tools to achieve uniformity is by using a “Base Date” on which to set the property values. What is “actual value,” “uniformity,” and “base date?”

Actual Value

“Actual Value” means that value being the market value of the fee simple interest in the real property.

Market Value

Market value is the amount of money that probably would be arrived at through fair negotiations between a willing seller and a willing buyer. Consideration is also given to the uses to which the property may be put. The following characteristics of market value should be noted:

  • is the most probably price, not the highest, lowest, or average price
  • is expressed in terms of money
  • implies a reasonable time to be exposed to the market
  • implies that both the buyer and seller are informed of the uses to which the property may be put
  • assumes an arm’s length transaction in the open market
  • assumes a willing buyer and a willing seller. with no advantage being taken by either buyer or seller
  • recognizes both the present use and potential use of the property

Uniformity

The idea of uniformity implies that the Assessor, using standardized and acceptable assessment procedures, will consider all properties that are similar to the one being assessed. The value should then be similar to those other properties. Taxes for that property should be similar as well. If it is a structure, it must, in the opinion of the Assessor, be reasonably fit for occupancy if a fair assessment is to be carried out.

Base Date

Base date means the more recent of:

  1. January 1, 2005; or
  2. January 1 of every 3rd year after 2005, which date shall be used in determining the actual value of real property or where the real property is a special purpose property, the replacement value of that real property.