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Feeling Over-Taxed? Make time to review commercial property assessments this Fall

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 property assessment that arrives several weeks before the tax bill. If you feel the government has not set a reasonable value on your property, act fast to appeal before the deadline. There is no fee to appeal.

Note these timelines:

  • Property Assessment Notices are mailed to Winnipeg businesses in early November, 2016. All other municipalities’ mailing dates vary, but are three weeks before their respective appeal deadlines.
  • The deadline to file an appeal with Winnipeg’s Board of Revision will be in late November, 2016. Outside of Winnipeg the deadline is between late August and late November, 2016, as noted in this list.

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 using the Winnipeg and outside of Winnipeg online tools?
  • 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 in Winnipeg or your local District Assessment Office. If unsatisfied, appeal before your Board of Revision’s deadline as printed on your assessment notice and in newspapers. 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.

There are other levels of appeal, if needed.

Even if you don’t receive a property assessment notice, you have the annual right of appeal. Should you miss the deadline this year, you will have an opportunity to appeal next year.

Still have questions?

CFIB members are welcome to contact CFIB’s team in Winnipeg at 1-888-234-2232 or [email protected]. You can also talk with your Assessor in Winnipeg or the local District Assessment Office.

Not a member of CFIB yet?  JOIN CFIB today for more help and information.