On what grounds may I make a complaint?
A complaint to the assessment review board may be about any of the following matters shown on an assessment notice:
- The description of the property or business
- The name or mailing address of an assessed person or taxpayer
- An assessment amount
- An assessment class
- An assessment sub-class
- The type of property
- The type of improvement
- School support
- Whether the property or business is assessable
- Whether the property or business is exempt from taxation
There is no right to make a complaint about any tax issues.
What are the procedures during the hearing?
A general overview of the proceedings is as follows:
- The hearing is called to order and board members are introduced.
- The clerk reads the assessment complaint.
- You and the assessor introduce yourselves.
- The presiding officer outlines the hearing process.
- You and the assessor summarize your presentations.
- You present your case.
- The assessor and board members may ask you questions.
- The assessor presents his or her case.
- You and the board members may ask questions.
- You may offer evidence regarding the assessor's case.
- You summarize your case and state your argument.
- The assessor summarizes his or her case and states an argument.
- The board considers the information presented.
- The board may announce its decision at the hearing if the members believe they can make an immediate decision.
- Whether or not an oral decision is provided, you will be provided with the board's decision in writing within 30 days of the hearing.
For any other information please refer to the Municipal Affairs website brochure on preparing for an appeal hearing.
Are there guidelines on how to present my complaint to the ARB?
- When presenting your case, be sure to follow these standard rules of conduct:
- Remember to address the Board through the Chairperson
- Always wait for the Chair to recognize you before you speak.
- Be as clear and logical as possible.
When preparing your case, keep in mind the limits of the ARB's responsibility:
- An ARB's purpose is to determine whether or not the assessed value of your property is fair in relation to the assessments of other similar properties. It has no power to make decisions concerning taxation or level of services.
- An ARB has no power to act on complaints about changes in assessed values from previous years. Remember that an ARB's role is to determine if the assessed value bears a fair and just relationship to the values of similar or neighbouring properties.
- Provide photographs of your property and other properties that you are using as comparison. Photographs are great visual help and provide valuable support for verbal descriptions.
Can I appoint an agent to act on my behalf?
You may appoint an agent to present your complaint as long as he has written authorization from you, complete the Municipal Affairs Agent Authorization Form.
What will happen if I don't appear at the ARB hearing?
The ARB may hear the case, but they are not required to do so. The ARB also has the authority to compel an appellant to attend the hearing. If you do know that you will not be attending the hearing you are able to submit a written presentation to the board. This is explained in the Matters relating to Assessment Complaints Regulation. Below is the statement from the legislation.
16(1) Parties to a hearing before an assessment review board may attend the hearing in person or may, instead of attending in person, file a written presentation with the clerk of the assessment review board.
(2) A party who files a written presentation under subsection (1) must provide a copy of it to the other parties,
(a) in the case of a hearing before a local assessment review board, at least 3 days before the hearing;
(b) in the case of a hearing before a composite assessment review board, at least 7 days before the hearing.
What kinds of decisions can the ARB make regarding an appeal?
An assessment review board may make any of the following decisions:
Dismiss the complaint if it was not made within the proper time.
Dismiss the complaint if the forms are not completed or if you have not explained why you think information in the assessment or tax notice is incorrect or unfair.
Change the following: the assessment, the description of your property or business, the name and mailing address on the assessment notice, an assessment class, an assessment subclass, the type of property, the type of improvement, the school support, whether the property is assessable, whether the business or property is exempt from taxation.
Decide that no change is required.
You may appeal the decision of the assessment review board to the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta.
Appealing to the Court of Queen's Bench
If you believe that the assessment review board made an error in its decision, you may file an appeal with the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. You have 30 days from the date you receive the written decision of the assessment review board to file your application.
Note: You cannot appeal the decision of an assessment review board simply because you do not agree with the decision. An appeal can only be made if you believe that the board made an error on a question of law or jurisdiction.
For more information on appealing to the Court of Queen's Bench please refer to the Municipal Affairs Website.
Should I still pay my taxes?
You must pay your taxes before the deadline to avoid being charged late payment penalties, even if you file a complaint. If the Assessment Review Board alters your assessment, the Municipality will adjust your tax account accordingly.
What should I do before filing a complaint?
Contact an assessor at the County of Grande Prairie administration building, 780-513-3952, to get more information on how your assessment was determined. The assessor may have an amended notice issued if there is a change to be made to the assessment, and it's within the 60 day appeal deadline. If there is still disagreement after your meeting, you may file a complaint with the Clerk of the Assessment Review Board. Complaints must be filed on or before the date specified on your assessment notice.
How do I file a complaint?
(1) If a complaint is to be heard by an assessment review board, the complainant must
(a) complete and file with the clerk a complaint in the form set out in Schedule 1, and
(b) pay the appropriate complaint fee set out in Schedule 2 at the time the complaint is filed if, in accordance with section 481 of the Act, a fee is required by the council.
(2) If a complainant does not comply with subsection (1),
(a) the complaint is invalid, and
(b) the assessment review board must dismiss the complaint.
The reasons for filing a complaint must accompany the complaint form. The complainant must:
Indicate what information shown on the assessment notice or tax notice is incorrect,
Explain in what respect that information is incorrect,
Indicate what the correct information is, and
Identify the requested assessed value, if the complaint relates to an assessment.
Your completed complaint form, agent authorization form, attachments (if any) and the Fee associated with the appeal (Residential & Farmland $50 per account, All other classes $300 per account) must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date (as indicated on your assessment notice) at the following address:
Clerk of the Assessment Review Board
c/o County of Grande Prairie No.1
Clairmont, AB T8X 5B2
Where can I get a complaint form?
Complaint forms are available at the County of Grande Prairie Administration Building, 10001-84avenue Clairmont, AB, or by phone at 780-513-3952 or the Alberta Municipal Affairs Website.
What is the deadline for filing an appeal?
You must file your complaint by 4:30pm on the complaint deadline specified on the assessment notice you are filing a complaint against.