In preparing for a hearing before the Assessment Review Board, a complainant’s goal is to show proof that the assessment of their property is not a fair estimate of the price the property would sell for on the market.
It is important to remember that market value is not defined as the exact selling price of a property, but the most reasonable estimate of a probable selling price. Similar properties rarely sell for the same price; however, the sale prices for similar properties will likely define a range of prices. The market value of the subject property should fall within that range.
Tips for Presenting
The following will assist complainants in preparing evidence and presenting their case:
- Appraisals or assessment of similar properties located in the neighborhood. See the County’s Assessment Roll Search.
- 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 services, landscaping, number and size of bathrooms, basement (finished or unfinished), fireplaces, garage/carports, outbuildings, repairs and environmental problems.
- For condominium units, compare features such as the floor the unit is on, view, corner, inside or end unit, floor plan, parking, elevators and building services.
- In presenting comparisons between a business and other businesses in similar premises, describe the square footage, net rent, location, age and quality of the buildings where the businesses are located.
- Photographs of the property or business 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. A hearing would not be required and the appeal fee will be refunded. For further information about an assessment or to discuss an assessment complaint, contact an assessor at 403.230.1401.
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 Board Clerk of the Assessment Review Board.
Hearing Dates and Times
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 Board 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.
Next: Disclosure & Submission of Evidence