Property taxes can be a significant cost to your business. When the tax bill arrives, it can be frustrating to realize you can’t appeal it. To ensure your taxes are fair, take time to review the 2017 property assessment notice that arrives prior to the tax bill. If you feel the government has not set a reasonable value on your property, act quickly to appeal before the deadline. Your assessment notice will have all the details you require to review your assessment details and the deadline to submit an appeal. Alberta Municipal Affairs also has a general link Alberta Property Assessment and Taxation.
Should you miss the deadline this year, you will not have an opportunity to appeal until next year.
We are aware of businesses who successfully appealed their assessments when filed within the customer review period. You do not require a lawyer but you may wish to consult with your accountant (CPA) or legal counsel for any further guidance. If you do not work with a legal firm or have a colleague who can suggest someone; we can provide you with information for some lawyer referral services.
Many factors are considered when setting value. Here are a few points to consider:
- Location, size, age, quality and condition: Is the physical description of the property correct? Are they using the right square footage? Is there a difference in gross area, leasable/rentable area and usable area?
- Property Class: Has the right class been assigned (institutional, other, etc.)?
- Local real estate market conditions in the reference year: What data was used to compare to your property?
- Comparison to similar properties: Was your property compared to others? Which ones? Have you studied other properties in your area?
- Tax exemptions may apply: Should the property be exempt from municipal or school taxes, or both?
Should you disagree with the assessment, first talk with your Assessor or your local District Assessment Office. If unsatisfied, appeal before your deadline as printed on your assessment notice and in the media. Prepare to attend a hearing to explain your reasons, including evidence and/or witnesses.
Appeals can be based on:
- The amount of the assessed value;
- Whether the property is in the correct property class; and,
- Whether the property should be exempt from municipal and/or school taxes.
We have additional information links below:
Still have questions?
CFIB members are welcome to contact CFIB’s Alberta team at 1-888-234-2232 or [email protected]
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