Assessed value for most commercial properties in Saskatchewan for 2018 is determined using a market value standard, even though the terms fair or assessed values are still used (instead of market value). Assessed values, as detailed in the following quotes from The Cities Act, are to be determined using mass appraisal techniques, but are otherwise intended to be reflective of market value as of the applicable base date.
(f.1) “market valuation standard” means the standard achieved when the assessed value of the property:
(i) is prepared using mass appraisal;
(ii) is an estimate of the market value of the estate in fee simple in the property;
(iii) reflects typical market conditions for similar properties; and
(iv) meets quality assurance standards established by order of the agency”
(f.2) “market value” means the amount that a property should be expected to realize if the estate in fee simple in the property is sold in a competitive and open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer, each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming that the amount is not affected by undue stimuli;
(f.3) “mass appraisal” means the process of preparing assessments for a group of properties as of the base date using standard appraisal methods, employing common data, and allowing for statistical testing;”
(1) An assessment shall be prepared for each property in the city using only mass appraisal.
(2) All property is to be assessed as of the applicable base date.
(3) The dominant and controlling factor in the assessment of property is equity.
(3.1) Each assessment must reflect the facts, conditions and circumstances affecting the property as at January 1 of each year as if those facts, conditions and circumstances existed on the applicable base date.”
In contrast to historic practices, where the assessor was limited to using the modified cost approach to calculate fair values, for the 2009, 2013 and 2017 reassessments, all three of the traditional appraisal approaches are available for the assessor’s use. The three approaches are the cost approach, the income approach, and the sales comparison approach.
The Cities Act, section 171, details the information that must be provided to the assessor. We believe it is important that property owners know what information they are responsible for providing to the assessor and when it is to be provided. Further, if an assessment appeal is warranted, the information provided could make or break a case. The Cities Act states,
“171 (1) For assessment purposes, the assessor may, at any time, request any information or document that relates to or might relate to the value of any property from any person who owns, uses, occupies, manages or disposes of the property.
(2) Every year, the assessor may request the owner of property to provide information respecting:
(a) the persons who are carrying on business on the property; and
(b) the nature of the business being carried on.
(3) For the purposes of using a valuation technique or method of appraisal based on the use of income benefits, an assessor may request … any information or document that relates to:
(a) the income generated or expected to be generated be any property; and
(b) the expenses incurred or expected to be incurred with respect to any property.
. . .
(4.1) . . . for the purpose of using a valuation technique or method of appraisal based on the use of income or benefits, every owner of an income-producing property, as defined by order of the agency, shall, on or before June 30 of each year, furnish the assessor with a certified statement showing the following information for the owner’s previous fiscal year respecting that property:
(a) the income generated by the owner’s property;
(b) the expenses incurred with respect to the owner’s property;
(c) any additional information that the agency, by order, may require.
. . .
(5). . . every person who, in the course of his duties, acquires or has access to any information or document obtained pursuant to subsection (1), (2), (3), or (4.1) shall:
(a) keep that information or document confidential; and
(b) not make any use of or disclose that information or document without the consent of the person to whom the information or document relates.
Offence and penalty re failure to provide information
172(1) No person shall:
(a)fail to furnish any information or document required of that person pursuant to section 171; or
(b) willfully furnish the assessor with false information.
. . .
(5) If the person whose assessment is the subject of an appeal or his or her agent seeks to introduce the following evidence at the hearing of the appeal, the board of revision or appeal board shall not take that evidence into consideration in making its determination:
(a) any information or document that was not provided to the assessor as required by section 171 when it was required to be provided;
(b) any information that is substantially at variance with information provided to the assessor pursuant to section 171.
(6) . . . if a person refuses or fails to provide information to the assessor by the date required pursuant to section 171, or if a person or his or her agent fails to comply with a request for information or documents pursuant to that section, the board of revision or the appeal board, as the case may be, on the first occasion on which the person appeals the assessment of that property during the revaluation cycle for which the information is required or requested, shall dismiss the person’s appeal with respect to the property to which the information relates.”
We OPERATE in Saskatchewan, we KNOW Saskatchewan Assessments!
Who We Serve
Saskatchewan has a diverse business economy and we strive to serve everyone equally, whether you are a small business, large institutional business, property manager, or large portfolio owner. We are dedicated to the businesses of Saskatchewan, large or small.
What We Need to Conduct a Review
- Assessment notice & Tax notice
- Copies of City forms for the relevant year
- Current rent roll
- Site plan
Review or Appeal
We make it our business to ensure you’re paying the right amount of taxes. Our service ensures you are involved every step of the way, to better understand the process and result. A review will provide an explanation on how the assessed value was calculated, analyze comparable property assessments, and provide a conclusion as to the validity of the assessment.
If an appeal is warranted, Grace Muzyka, provides substantial expertise in property assessment consultation, with over 25 years of experience. With our professionally conducted reviews, we can assist to identify errors in the application or property assessment, provide credible and reputable case preparation and presentation at all stages of the assessment appeal process and negotiations, including court appearance. Careful scrutiny and presentation can often result in a reduction in property taxes, and we are here to help.
If there is an error in your assessment, the remedy is to file an appeal. There is only a 60 day window in reassessment years which are every four years in Saskatchewan; and a 30 day window for all other years. When a change in assessment is made, a notice will be mailed out. Otherwise, notice published in the local paper is your only notice to appeal!
Written appeal must contain:
- Material facts
- Requested change
- A summary of the discussion with the assessor; and
- The filing fee must accompany the appeal notice
Municipal – Board of Revision (BOR)
- Court of First Instance – present all evidence and argument
- Focus = Where did the assessor error? Where is the inequity?
Provincial – Saskatchewan Municipal Board, Assessment Appeals Committee (SMB)
- Appeal is “on the record”
- Focus = Where did the Board of Revision error?
Property taxes are the single largest operating cost for most commercial properties. As such, assessments should be professionally reviewed for accuracy. With over 25 years of experience, Grace Muzyka has the credibility and reputation to get the job done right. The evidence is in the results.
The appeal time frame for appeal is a very short (30 days) and the deadline for 2018 has passed. If you believe your assessment is too high and the roll is still open in your municipality, contact us.