The Camrose Assessment Review Board (ARB) is a quasi-judicial board established in accordance with the Municipal Government Act and The City of Camrose Bylaw 2985-18. It is an impartial panel that hears formal complaints against the assessment of properties or other matters on an assessment or tax notice. The ARB is independent from the City of Camrose Assessment Department and is made up of Camrose citizens.

First Step: File a Complaint

The City of Camrose Assessment Department mails the annual assessment notices each year in May. Following the mailing of the assessment notices, there is a 60-day review period where you can arrange to speak with a City assessor regarding any disagreements you may have with your assessed value.

If you still disagree with your assessed value, you may file a formal complaint with the Camrose Assessment Review Board (ARB). A formal complaint must be filed prior to the deadline in order for the Board to review your complaint, even if you are waiting to hear back from your assessor.

Assessment complaints must be received by the deadline indicated on your Assessment Notice. The complaint and correct filing fee must be received no later than this final date or the complaint is not valid and the Board will not hear the complaint.

A valid complaint must include:

  • The specific reasons you think the information shown on the Assessment Notice is incorrect as well as supporting evidence if applicable. Stating only that the assessment is too high or incorrect is not sufficient. You can gather information on comparable properties and other evidence, and check, review and compare your assessment on our website to support your case.
  • Contact information of the complainant including the telephone number where you can be reached on weekdays. If you choose to provide your email address on the complaint form, you will receive correspondence from the ARB via email (please print clearly).
  • Roll number and property address for property assessment complaints.
  • Payment of the required filing fee.

The ARB must not hear any matter regarding an issue that is not identified on the complaint form. This means that you cannot introduce new evidence or issues at the hearing that have not been disclosed in your complaint.

ARB complaints can be submitted in the following manner:

Submitting a complaint in person/mail

To file by paper, you must include a completed Assessment Complaint Form with the correct filing fee. Regardless of the method of submission, the complaint must be received, no later than the final date for a complaint, as shown on the Assessment Notice. The complaint is not valid and the Board will not hear the complaint if received later than the final date. The specified fee must accompany the completed complaint form, therefore, faxed and emailed complaints will not be accepted. Payment methods accepted are cash/cheque/money order payable to “The City of Camrose”.

If submitting a complaint by mail or in person, attach a copy of the Assessment Notice to the complaint form to facilitate the process and ensure accuracy.

 

Filing Fee

Your filing fee is indicated on your Assessment Notice. Fees are charged per roll number for the filing of complaints. The exact filing fee is required for each complaint.

The fee will be refunded if the Board makes a decision in your favour or the City of Camrose Assessment Department reduces the assessment in consultation with you.

 

City of Camrose Filing Fees

  • Residential - 3 or fewer dwellings and farm land - $40.00 Per Complaint/Roll Number
  • Residential - 4 or more dwellings - $250.00 Per Complaint/Roll Number
  • Non-Residential - $250.00 Per Complaint/Roll Number

Second Step: Prepare and Submit Evidence

The Board staff will not act as an agent, counsel or advocate to any party, nor will they offer an opinion on the merit or lack of merit of any complaint. Information provided by the Board staff is for your assistance only, it cannot be construed as legal advice nor will it assure you of a favourable decision.

Please note that the Board is not an evidence seeking body. It relies on written evidence presented, as well as verbal submissions made at hearings, as the basis for its decisions. It is therefore critical that persons appearing before the Board ensure that sufficient evidence is presented to support their respective positions.

Listed below are some ideas to think about when gathering information for your ARB hearing:

  • Appraisals or assessments of similar properties located in your neighbourhood. View Assessment information.
  • Repair estimates from a reputable contractor for physical problems (e.g., cracked foundation, roof leaks, etc.). Keep in mind not every defect will lower the value of your property, such as defects that result from normal wear and tear.
  • Look for sales data on properties similar to yours (size, age, location) that sold before July 1 of the previous year. Example: You have received your assessment notice in May of 2018, and you now want to find sales data on properties similar to yours. You must find sales data on properties that sold before July 1, 2017 to be considered as evidence to support your case.
  • Estimates of your property's value as of July 1 of the previous year from a professional appraiser, assessor or realtor.
  • In presenting comparisons between your property and other similar and/or comparison properties, compare features such as services, landscaping, number and size of bathrooms, basement (finished or unfinished), fireplaces, garage/carports, outbuildings, repairs and any environmental problems.
  • For apartment condominium units, compare features such as the floor your unit is on, view, corner, inside or end unit, floor plan, parking, elevators and building services.
  • In presenting comparisons between your non-residential property and other non-residential properties in similar premises; describe the square footage, net rent, location, age and quality of the buildings where the non-residential properties are located.
  • Photographs of your property or other properties you are using as comparisons provide valuable support for a verbal discussion.
  • Maps are helpful to locate properties used in comparisons.
  • Use a computer spreadsheet program to create your comparison chart or prepare one by hand.
  • You may have witnesses appear on your behalf if you wish.

Hearings of the Assessment Review Board are open to the public and documents filed as evidence in respect of a complaint will form part of a public record; however, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) protects the confidentiality of information and therefore governs release of information.

Submitting your Disclosure of Evidence

Prior to the hearing date, both the Complainant (the persons that filed the complaint) and the Respondent (the City Assessor) must submit to the Assessment Review Board (ARB) all evidence and information they wish to use to support their position. The disclosure of evidence must also include any signed witness reports and a list of witnesses who will give evidence at the hearing if applicable. Both Complainant and Respondent also submit to each other by the legislated deadlines, so all parties involved have the same information. By sharing information, both you and the assessor will have a better understanding of how to present your case to the Board. It is also another opportunity for you and the assessor to resolve the issue before the hearing.

You must submit your evidence to both the Assessment Review Board and to the City of Camrose:

Assessment Review Board

By mail or in person, or by email:

Mail:

City Hall

5204 – 50 Avenue Camrose, AB

Email: legservices@camrose.ca

 

City of Camrose Assessment Department

By mail or in person, or by email:

Mail:

City Hall

5204 – 50 Avenue Camrose, AB

Email: assessment@camrose.ca

 

Failure to comply with the rules governing disclosure due dates may result in your complaint being dismissed.

Electronic Disclosure: Parties may disclose to the ARB one electronic copy of their evidence through email, no later than the disclosure deadlines indicated within the Notice of Hearing you received from the Board. The ARB Clerk will provide a copy to the Board for the hearing, and will keep the original electronic copy on file for ARB records.

Paper Disclosure: Parties may disclose one hard copy of their evidence to the ARB no later than 4:30 p.m. on the disclosure deadline indicated on the Notice of Hearing.

The ARB Clerk will provide a hard copy to the Board for the hearing, and will keep the original hard copy on file for ARB records.

Third Step: Hearing

Attendance

We encourage you to attend your hearing as your complaint is stronger if you are present and available to answer any questions the Board may have. As the complainant making a presentation to the Board, you are responsible to substantiate your arguments with evidence. The onus of proof is on you to demonstrate your position. However, if you do not attend the hearing, it will still take place. The information you have submitted to the Board (i.e. written submission/evidence) will be read on your behalf.

If this information is not specific and detailed, the complaint may be dismissed. Therefore, it is important to make sure your written submission clearly and fully describes your reasons for disputing the assessment. If clear details are provided, the Board will then hear the City assessor's presentation and make its decision based on all the evidence/information made available at the hearing.

On the Hearing Date

The amount of time required for each hearing will vary. Your Notice of Hearing will indicate the starting time of your hearing, please plan to arrive 10 minutes before the time shown on your Notice of Hearing.

When you arrive at City Hall for the hearing, check in at the reception counter on the first floor. You will be directed to the Council Chambers where your hearing will take place.

The hearings are open to the public.

At the Hearing

Before your complaint is heard the Presiding Officer will typically announce the procedures to be followed.

  1. You will be asked to present your case based on the evidence disclosed before the hearing. Be as specific as possible.
  2. Then the City Assessor may question you and present information in defense of the assessment. You will also have a chance to ask questions of the City Assessor.
  3. When all the evidence has been presented, you and the City assessor may present final arguments to the Board and summarize your positions.
  4. The Board may ask questions at any time.

After the hearing, the Board will meet privately to make a decision about what they heard at the hearing.

The Board cannot make decisions concerning your rate of taxation.

Fourth Step: Notification of Decision

Decisions

The Board must, in writing, render a decision and provide reasons, including any dissenting reasons within 30 days from the last day of the hearing, or before the end of the taxation year. The Board's decision is usually mailed out within 30 days from the date of the hearing.

Disagreement with the Board's Decision

Both you and the City have the right to apply to the Court of Queen's Bench for judicial review of the ARB decision. An application must be filed with the Court of Queen's Bench no more than 60 days after the date of the decision of the ARB. Judicial reviews of the Board's decisions are governed by section 470 of the Municipal Government Act.

If you are considering an application to the Court of Queen's Bench, you may wish to consult legal counsel. The Administrative staff are not able to offer any legal advice, suggestions, or guidance with respect to such inquiries.

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