Real Estate Assessment Board Can Increase Your Tax Assessment
Residential and commercial real estate constitutes a huge sector in our economy. Municipal governments obtain a vast amount of their revenues from taxes derived from assessments of those properties. Cities assess the value of a property and then issue the homeowner or business owner a bill.
If dissatisfied with the assessment value, the owner may appeal to a review assessment board. Generally the issue before the board is whether the assessment done by the city is too high. The owner marshals their evidence and the city does likewise. The board then determines whether the assessment was too high.
That is no longer the case. The highest court in the country has recently held that review boards have the authority to not only determine whether the assessment is too high but also whether the city's assessment was too low.
If the board finds that the assessment value should be higher, the owner may try to appeal to the Court of Queen's Bench. However, the Supreme Court of Canada in the recent case of Edmonton (City) v. Edmonton East (Capilano) Shopping Centre decision held that board decisions are to be accorded deference. The board's decision will be overturned only if it is "unreasonable". In other words, the board does not have to render a correct decision, but only one that falls within a range of reasonableness.
Home and business owners should bear this in mind.
Invitation for Discussion:
Our litigation lawyers are skilled in appellate matters. If you would like to discuss this blog in greater detail, or any other business litigation matter, please do not hesitate to contact one of the lawyers in the Business Litigation Group at Shea Nerland LLP.
Note that the foregoing is for general discussion purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice to any one person or company. If the issues discussed herein affect you or your company, you are encouraged to seek proper legal advice.