ment is not correct, they have the option of filing a Request for Reconsideration and MPAC will review their assessment free of charge. Hours will be extended at each of MPAC’s 33 local offices across the province during the Notice mailing period this fall. Prop- erty owners can also call MPAC’s Customer Contact Centre toll free at 1-866-296-MPAC (6722). Anglo entrepreneurs, voice your opinion LACHUTE | The Fonds d’Emprunt des Laurentides, in partnership with CE- DEC’s Small Business Support Network, will be hosting a focus group of English- speaking entrepreneurs and business owners in the Laurentians. The focus group will be held Wednes- day November 7 from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Laurentian Regional High School, 448 ave Argenteuil, Lachute. For more information, contact Karen Dixon, business start-up consultant at the Fonds d’Emprunt des Laurentides at 450-562-3553 or 1-888-782-3553 or at . The goal of the meeting is to deter- mine what kind of services they need and whether they are aware of existing services. The Fonds d’Emprunt des Laurentides helps men and women with their busi- ness start-up by offering training, micro loans and other support based on their needs.

County tax rate freeze

and school board requisitions to determine the final property tax invoices. Residential property values have in- creased by an average of approximately 18 per cent across Ontario since 2008 when the last assessment update was delivered. Because of the four-year phase-in program, property owners will see an average assess- ment increase of 4.5 per cent each year for the next four years. “Our values reflect local real estate mar- kets and confirm that most homeowners in the province have seen the value of their homes increase over the last four years,” said Larry Hummel, MPAC’s Chief Assessor. MPAC’s MarketSnapshot - Assessment Up- date Edition provides a more detailed analy- sis of the changes in values that have taken place across the province. The report is available on MPAC’s website at www.mpac. ca . An increase in assessment does not necessarily mean an increase in property taxes. If the assessed value of a home has increased by the same percentage as the average in the municipality, there might be no increase in the property taxes paid by a property taxpayer. MPAC will mail Property Assessment No- tices to Ontario’s nearly fivemillion property owners between now and November. Lo- cal assessment changes will be announced prior to the mailing of notices in each mu- nicipality over the next two months. “Our role is to accurately assess every property in Ontario. Property owners

L’ORIGNAL | Prescott-Russell property owners will get a tax break from the unit- ed counties next year after council de- cided Wednesday to freeze the regional government’s 2013 tax rate. A tiny hike of 0.3 per cent was proposed in the estimates presented by chief ad- ministrative officer Stéphane Parisien. That would have upped the county taxes on a $100,000 home from $491 to $498. Howev- er, members voted to aim for a zero per cent increase in the tax rate, which is expected to be finalized in March or April. Parisien assured members he would meet that goal by trimming $108,000 from the list of projected expenses. The reworked budget is set to be ratified November 27. But a rate freeze will not necessarily trans- late into lower tax bills for ratepayers since many are facing property evaluation in- creases next year. Ontario homeowners will see the as- sessed value of their property increase by an average of 4.5 per cent in 2013, accord- ing to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. The draft budget presented Wednes- day calls for an increase in spending from $80,517,300 to $81,789,650. “This is a business as usual budget,” said Parisien, stressing the previsions contain no major new expenses and follow the coun- ties’ five-year plan. The county levy is added to the municipal

Stéphane Parisien

should ask themselves if they could have sold their property for its assessed value on January 1, 2012. If the answer is yes, then their assessment is accurate. If not, we are committed to working with them to get it right,” Hummel said. Property owners can check the accura- cy of their assessment at www.aboutmy- . This website allows owners to easily compare the value of their prop- erty to others in their neighbourhood and community. Registration informa- tion is included with every notice mailed this fall. If property owners believe their assess-

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