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Appealing your property tax assessment

By David Gargaro

Impactful changes Most owners of rental property in Canada will be receiving property assessments this year, except for some in Quebec who will be getting their assessments in 2021 and owners in Ontario whose assessments have not changed. Given how property values have increased over recent years, it’s relatively safe to say that the assessed values of most rental properties have increased since the previous assessment, perhaps substantially. This might mean that your property taxes will increase as well. Upon receiving the assessment notice, make sure to carefully review your property assessment. You don’t want to pay more than what is fair and equitable, especially since property taxes are a significant business cost. You have a limited time to appeal the assessed value of your property – see the table on page 28 for the appeal deadline in your city. Appealing the assessment is the key way to adjust your property’s assessment value and reduce your property taxes.

Reviewing your assessment Many factors go into determining the assessment of your rental property. When doing your own review, make sure to consider the following to prepare for an appeal: • The age, location, size, quality, and condition of your property • The property class for your building • Local real estate market conditions in the year in which your property was assessed • How your rental property compares to similar properties

“Apart from mortgage payments, property taxes are usually the largest cost a rental housing provider faces,” said John Dickie, President, Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations (CFAA). “At every new assessment, it is almost always worthwhile to consult a property tax professional to evaluate your assessment, and thus minimize the property tax you pay.”

Appealing your assessment Many owners of rental property don’t appeal because they don’t think it’s worth the time and effort. In some cases, there is no fee to appeal. According to a survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, 46 per cent of property owners who chose to appeal their assessment saw their property’s assessed value decrease, which resulted in paying less property tax. So, when should you decide to file an appeal? The key reasons to appeal an assessment are when you believe that the assessed market value of your rental property is too high based on sales of comparable properties, you think that you were not assessed fairly compared to your neighbours or similar properties, or your property was improperly classified during the assessment process. Before you make the appeal, do your homework or consult a property tax professional. Research the value of comparable properties and your neighbours to determine their assessed values. Establish a point of comparison based on the previously stated factors, such as price per square

• Applicable tax exemptions (e.g., municipal, school) In addition to reviewing your current property assessment, you should conduct an annual review. This will enable you to determine whether there are any unusual changes in your property assessment, and to ensure that the assessment reflects the current economic conditions of your rental property.

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foot of land and property class. Rather than just complaining about your property’s assessment value, be prepared with relevant evidence as to why you were assessed over the proper value.

When participating in the appeal, ensure that you provide relevant evidence, along with witnesses or experts where applicable.

In some cases, you can discuss your concerns with the appraiser. If this does not address your concerns, then you can appeal. Make sure to submit your written request for an appeal before the deadline for your city, as stated in the table below. You will have to attend a hearing to explain your reason for requesting the appeal of your assessment.

Every property owner must pay property taxes. However, just because your property is assessed at a certain level does not mean that you have to accept the assessed amount. You can appeal that assessment, and possibly have the assessed value reduced to decrease what you pay in property taxes. The benefit to your bottom line is usually worth the effort.

Conclusion

2020 Canadian Assessment Appeal Deadlines City/Province

Notice Mailed

Appeal Deadline

Valuation Date

Taxation Year

Assessment Cycle (appeal opportunity)

Yukon

December 2019

January 13, 2020

January 1, 2016

2020

Two-year cycle (annual)

Northwest Territories— Inuvik—Norman Wells

January 2020

February 2020

January 1, 2018

2020

Ten-year cycle (annual)

Nunavut

December 2019

January 16, 2020

January 1, 2012

2020

Ten-year cycle (annual)

British Columbia

January 2020

January 31, 2020

July 1, 2019

2020

Annual (annual)

· Edmonton

January 2020

March 10, 2020

July 1, 2019

2020

Annual (annual)

· Calgary

January 2020

March 10, 2020

July 1, 2019

2020

Annual (annual)

- Red Deer / Lethbridge

January 2020

March 2020

July 1, 2019

2020

Annual (annual)

- RM Wood Buffalo (Fort MacMurray)

January 2020

March 2020

July 1, 2019

2020

Annual (annual)

- Rural Alberta

Variable March – July 2020

Variable Mar – Dec 2020

July 1, 2019

2020

Annual (annual)

· Regina

October 2020

December 2020

January 1, 2019

2021

Four-year cycle (annual)

· Saskatoon

January 2020

February 3, 2020

January 1, 2015

2020

Four-year cycle (annual)

· Winnipeg

April-May 2020

June 2020

April 1, 2018

2021

Two-year cycle (annual)

· Remaining Municipalities

Variable August – December 2020

Variable Aug – Dec 2020

April 1, 2018

2021

Two-year cycle (annual)

Ontario

Annual Notices only issued when a change has occurred; Supplementary or Omitted Assessment Notices issued where/when appropriate

March 31, 2020

January 1, 2016

2020

Four-year cycle (annual)

· Montréal

Fall 2019

April 30, 2020

July 1, 2018

2020-2021-2022

Triennial (right of appeal in the first year only for revaluations)

· Q uébec City – Laval – Longueuil – TroisRivières – Sherbrooke – Baie- Comeau – Sept-Îles

Fall 2021

April 30, 2022

July 1, 2020

2022-2023-2024

Triennial (right of appeal in the first year only for revaluations)

· Drummondville – Gatineau and many others

Fall 2020

April 30, 2021

July 1 , 2019

2021-2022-2023

Triennial (right of appeal in the first year only for revaluations)

Nova Scotia

January 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

January 1, 2019

2020

Annual (annual)

New Brunswick

March 1, 2020

March 31, 2020

January 1, 2020

2020

Annual (annual)

· St. John’s

August 31, 2020* May be earlier

Late October, 2020 (60 day appeal window)* May change

January 1, 2017

2021

Three-year cycle (annual)

· Remaining Municipalities

June 2020* May change

Late August, 2020 (60 day appeal window)* May change

January 1, 2020

2021

Annual (annual)

Prince Edward Island

Early May 2020 (must be mailed by May 5)

Early August 2020

January 1, 2020

2020

Annual (annual)

Alberta

Saskatchewan

Manitoba

Québec

Newfoundland – 20192021 reassessment

28 | January 2020

Profile for Juan  Malvestitti

RHB Magazine January 2020 - Appealing your property tax assessment  

RHB, RHB Magazine, Property Tax, Property Tax Assessment, Appeal

RHB Magazine January 2020 - Appealing your property tax assessment  

RHB, RHB Magazine, Property Tax, Property Tax Assessment, Appeal

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