PREPARING FOR A HEARING
What Happens after you file your Complaint
Once a complaint form and the required fee have been filed, on time and in compliance with all applicable requirements of the Municipal Government Act and MRAC regulation, the Assessment Review Board clerk will arrange a hearing. Complainants will receive written notice advising of the date, time and location of the hearing, as will the municipality and any other assessed person who is affected by the complaint. The notice will also outline any deadlines to submit sufficient evidence to support the complaint.
Tips for Presenting
The following will assist complainants in preparing evidence and presenting their case:
- appraisals or assessment of similar properties located nearby
- repair estimates from a reputable contractor for physical problems (e.g., foundation is cracked, roof leaks, etc.); keep in mind that not every defect will lower the value of a property
- estimates of the property’s value in the current market from a professional appraiser, assessor or realtor
- sales data on similar properties (size, age, location) that sold close to July 1 of the previous year
- in presenting comparisons between the property and similar properties, compare features such as number and size of bathrooms, basement (finished or unfinished), fireplaces, garage/carports, outbuildings, repairs and environmental problems
- photographs of the property and comparable properties provide valuable support for a verbal description
- maps are helpful to locate properties used in comparisons
- if possible, create a comparison chart
- complainants may hire a representative for the hearing (e.g. a tax agent or lawyer) or may bring a friend, witness, or family member to assist the presentation; a letter of authorization must be completed prior to the hearing, for those acting as an agent representative
Resolving Concerns in Advance of a Hearing
Even after filing a complaint, property owners may be able to resolve their concerns about their assessment without the need for a hearing. The assessor may change an assessment and issue a new notice if they agree that the original notice is not accurate.
How to Withdraw a Complaint
Following filing a complaint with the Assessment Review Board, property owners may withdraw for whatever reason in the period leading up to their hearing date. We request that we receive the withdrawal in writing, and submitted to the Assessment Review Board Clerk.
By mail: Summer Village of Waiparous, PO Box 806, Cochrane, AB T4C 1B8
By email: [email protected]
The Board schedules hearings as required and in accordance with the Municipal Government Act. Property owners who have properly filed a complaint will be advised as to the date and time of their hearing. Hearings are open to the public.
Postponement of Hearings
Postponements will only be granted for exceptional circumstances and must be requested in writing to the clerk of the Assessment Review Board well in advance of the scheduled hearing. A written response will be sent indicating whether the request was granted or denied. Requests for postponement when the disclosure is due or on the hearing day will not be granted.
DISCLOSURE AND SUBMISSION OF EVIDENCE
Prior to a hearing before the Assessment Review Board, all evidence must be submitted to the clerk of the Assessment Review Board and exchanged, in its entirety, by both the complainant and the assessor. This helps the hearing to proceed fairly and without unnecessary delays.
By sharing information, both the complainant and the assessor will have a better understanding of how the case should be presented to the Board. It also provides another opportunity for the issue to be resolved before the hearing. No evidence is seen by the Board prior to the hearing.
Failure to comply with the legislative process may result in a complaint being deemed invalid.
Key 2022 Assessment Review Board Dates
|April 4, 2022||Assessment notices mailed|
|April 12, 2022||Notice of Assessment Date|
|April 4 – June 13, 2022||60 day review period|
|June 13, 2022||Final day to submit a complaint|
|TBD||Scheduling of hearings begins|
Once the date of a hearing has been set, complainants need to be aware of the following critical dates:
For a complaint about an assessment to be heard by a Local Assessment Review Board:
- complainant (property owner) must provide full disclosure at least 21 days before the scheduled hearing date
- respondent (Summer Village of Waiparous Assessor) must provide full disclosure at least 7 days before the scheduled hearing date
- complainant(property owner)must provide rebuttal at least 3 days before the scheduled hearing date
For a complaint about any matter other than an assessment, the parties must provide full disclosure at least 7 days before the scheduled hearing date. An example of a non-assessment matter would be the name or mailing address of an assessed person or taxpayer being incorrect.
Disclosure of Evidence
Complainants are obligated to provide the assessor with the information that will be presented at the hearing. This is referred to as “disclosure.” Disclosure must include:
- all relevant facts supporting the matters of complaint described on this complaint form
- all documentary evidence to be presented at the hearing
- a list of witnesses who will give evidence at the hearing
- a summary of testimonial evidence
- the legislative grounds and reason for the complaint
- relevant case law and any other information that the complainant considers relevant
All evidence should be submitted to:
By Mail: Summer Village of Waiparous, PO Box 806, Cochrane, AB T4C 1B8
or By email: [email protected]