Less than 30 days to analyse and decide whether you’ll be filing for an assessment roll review
- Posted by Beauregard Avocats
You received your property assessment notice, and you notice that the assessment amount for your unit has increased (or decreased), the building classification for your unit is incorrect, the exemption from property taxes from which your property should benefit has not been retained by the assessor, or your tax bill has drastically increased. You decide to contest. Here are the steps and deadlines to follow to do so!
Many municipalities have proceeded with the triennial review of their property assessment roll for 2022 as provided for in the Municipal Taxation Act (hereinafter “MTA“), and thus implemented a new role for 2023-2024-2025. If your property is located in one of these municipalities, you have until April 30th, 2023, to contest your property assessment.
The Property Assessment Roll
The property assessment roll which is filed every 3 years, consists of an inventory of all properties located on the territory of a municipality. The roll contains various information allowing the identification and description of the use and physical characteristics of each property. It identifies the owner and indicates the value of each property, regardless of its nature, based on its actual value. The assessment roll serves as the basis for calculating municipal and school taxes. It is used to distribute the tax burden among property owners. It is therefore important to verify the information on the assessment roll!
Some of the most frequently disputed items on the assessment roll are :
- The property value of the unit: This must be assessed on the basis of its real value, i.e., “its exchange value in a free and open market”. The important elements that are retained to determine this value are the state of the unit of assessment and the property and the real estate market’s conditions on July 1st, 2021, for the new 2023-2024-2025 roll. Moreover, on the available online rolls, several municipalities provide comparable real estate sales to justify the established value for your unit.
- The building category to which your unit belongs (e.g.: non-residential building category, industrial building category, etc.).
- The composition of the building category of your unit if it belongs to several categories.
How to dispute?
If you do not agree with the entries in your property assessment notice, a procedure is provided under MTA.
There are two steps in the dispute process.
First, you must file a request for review to your municipal assessor by April 30th, 2023. The request for review must be made on the form provided (easily found on your municipality’s website) and indicate the reasons and conclusions sought. The assessor of the municipality has until the following September 1st to either a) make a written proposal to the applicant to modify the roll, or b) inform the applicant in writing, with the reasons justifying his decision, that no modification will be proposed.
- A) In the event that the assessor makes a written proposal to you, you may enter into a written agreement with the assessor by accepting his proposal within 30 days of sending it.
- B) In the event that the assessor refuses to make a written proposal to amend the roll or does not respond within the statutory deadline (by the following September 1), you still have 30 days following the sending of the refusal or the September 1st deadline to enter into an agreement with him.
Secondly, if you are unable to reach an agreement with the assessor on the amendment to be made to the roll, or if you are not satisfied with the agreement, you have the option of filing an appeal with the Administrative Tribunal of Quebec (TAQ), Real Estate Affairs Section. This must be done within 30 days following the expiry period for reaching an agreement with the assessor.
The most important thing to remember is the deadline of April 30th, 2023, to file your request for review, otherwise, unless circumstances are foreseen by the MTA, you will be “stuck” with the property assessment roll as communicated to you at the beginning of 2022.
We also invite you to read our article on if it’s worth disputing or not.
If you have any questions regarding municipal taxation, including your request for review, please do not hesitate to contact the Beauregard lawyers team.