Thunder Bay area landowner appeals how MPAC assesses land; land appraisal drops $ 144,000

A landowner in Murillo saw his assessment drop by more than 25 percent, after an appeal with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).

The owner, who owns land in Murillo, Ont. Just outside Thunder Bay, has appealed his 2016 MPAC assessment. The case was heard in January 2020, with a written decision issued a few months later.

At the hearing, the landowner said the appraisal of $ 531,000 for his rural land, which included a small sawmill and 4 buildings, was too high.

MPAC said that for logging companies, it uses what is called the cost approach to value land, minus 25 percent. He reduced the appraisal of the property to $ 434,000.

The owner argued that this method was not accurate for Thunder Bay and the surrounding area – noting that he estimated his land was worth close to $ 325,000. He said the cost approach did not reflect the depressed market in the region and reducing the value by 25 percent for economic obsolescence did not lead to fair value.

At the hearing, the owner made a comparison with a property, much larger than the one under appeal, with similar buildings, which was offered for sale for seven years at a price of $ 599,000. .

The owner said that the lack of sale showed that his property could not be valued at the original valuation of $ 531,000 because the higher priced land, which was higher than his, had never been sold.

The owner said a piece of land on Highway 527 similar to his had sold for $ 300,000, showing what the market would bear.

The Assessment Review Board agreed with the landowner, reducing the land valuation to $ 387,000 and noting that the cost-based approach was not appropriate for determining land valuation. In the region.

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