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Review the Assessment Appeal process

Cut Red Tape
 
 

Issue

Every year The City of Calgary Assessment Business Unit (ABU) prepares and mails Assessment Notices for properties and businesses within Calgary. When a property or business owner disagrees with their assessed value, they have the right to appeal to the Assessment Review Board (ARB). If owners are successful in having their assessment reduced for that year by the AReviewB, the decision to reduce should be carried forward and applied to the assessments for that property or business in subsequent years.

Status: Not feasible

Explanation

This idea is not feasible within the scope of the Cut Red Tape initiative to remove unnecessary administration. The City of Calgary is bound the provisions of provincial legislation under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and associated regulations, which must be observed by The City when preparing assessments.

The ABU is mandated by the MGA to prepare market value assessments on an annual basis, using mass appraisal techniques. The Province requires that the mass appraisal process utilized standard methods and common data to assess many properties as of a specific valuation date. The process to derive property assessments makes use of all valid sales that occur in a market area within a three-year time frame before the valuation date. Each assessment is an estimate of market value as of July 1 in the year prior to the taxation year, and is based on a fresh analysis incorporating new sales and market data.

Due to these legislative requirements, reliance is placed on the most current market information when preparing assessments. The ABU reviews all Calgary assessment tribunal and court decisions as part of the process to finalize the assessed values for the following year. Where there is an error in the factual data or there is evidence based market factors, the data would be revised and the market data would be considered. Any issues that arise from the appeal process are reviewed and every effort is made to incorporate the recommendations made by ARB members where possible and within the restrictions imposed by legislation.

However, an ARB decision to reduce an assessment in one year is only applicable to that year. It does not replace market value analysis in subsequent years, or override the specific legislative requirement that The City of Calgary must prepare market value assessments for all properties and businesses every year, regardless of the outcome of a previous ARB hearing. The ABU will take into careful consideration ARB recommendations, but the assessments reduced at the ARB are not the starting point for the subsequent year’s assessment; a principle which has been firmly upheld by other court decisions. Any change to this principle would require legislative change to the Municipal Government Act.