What should I do if I don’t agree with my property assessment?
If you do not agree with the following information found on your Notice of Assessment or Tax Notice:
- the description of the property,
- the name or mailing address of an assessed person or taxpayer,
- an assessment amount,
- an assessment class, or sub-class,
- the type of property,
- the type of improvement,
- school support,
- whether the property is assessable,
- whether the property is exempt from taxation.
It is recommended that you contact the Town Office as soon as possible before the final date of complaint shown on the front of your Notice. The Town’s assessor will review with you the contents of your Notice including the assessed value, correct any errors without a complaint being filed and provide you with an explanation and/or comparison with other properties of your choice.
If you are still not satisfied with the assessor’s explanation, you may file a written complaint with the Assessment Review Board. Complaints may not be filed about the Town’s mill rates.
How do I file a complaint?
Only an assessed person can file a complaint with the Assessment Review Board. An agent or representative may file a complaint with a letter of authorization from the property owner.
Assessment Complaints Agent Authorization Form
If you wish to file a complaint, you must use the prescribed complaint form.
Assessment Review Board Complaint Form
A complaint must be filed with the required fee, as specified on the back of the notice, no later than the complaint deadline stated on the front of your Notice of Assessment or Tax Notice.
Your complaint should be sent to:
Town of Wainwright
1018 – 2nd Avenue
Wainwright, AB T9W 1R1
Attn: Chelsey Eklund, Assessment Review Board Clerk
Office hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
What happens when a complaint is filed?
If your complaint form and the required fee has been filed on time and in compliance with all applicable requirements of the Municipal Government Act and the MGA – Matters Relating to Assessment Complaints Regulation, the Clerk will arrange a hearing. You will receive a written notice advising of the date, time and location of the hearing as well as any other person that is affected by the complaint. The notice will also outline any deadlines to submit sufficient evidence to support your claim.
Disclosure of Evidence
The MGA – Matters Relating to Assessment Complaints Regulation requires that both the complainant and the assessor submit their evidence to the Board and make full disclosure to the other party. The Board will not hear any evidence that has not been disclosed in accordance with the legislation.
I’ve filed a complaint; do I still have to pay my taxes by the deadline?
You are still required to pay your taxes by the deadline. If your payment is not made by the due date, you will be charged the late penalties. If an adjustment in the assessment is made a credit/refund will be issued as soon as possible.
How do I withdraw my complaint?
Following filing your complaint with the Assessment Review Board, you may withdraw for whatever reason in the period of time leading up to the hearing date. The Town requests that the withdrawal be in writing and that the Notice of Withdrawal Form be used and sent to the Clerk.
- The Clerk will read out loud the complaint you have filed with the Board. You are entitled to see all the documents and hear all other evidence the Board considers in reaching a decision.
- The Chairman will ask you to explain your reasons for objecting to your assessment. Board members can ask questions after your presentation.
- The Chairman will ask the Town’s assessor to explain the current assessment. The assessor may also ask you questions and may dispute your evidence or arguments at this time. The Board can also ask the assessor questions.
- You may ask the assessor questions and you may dispute the assessor’s evidence and argument at this time.
- The Board members will meet in private to discuss the complaint among themselves in order to reach a decision.
- If you have been given notice of the hearing and do not attend, the Board may make a decision on your complaint in your absence.
The Board may make a change with respect to any matter within its jurisdiction or may decide that no change is required. They must not alter any assessment that is fair and equitable taking into consideration assessments of similar properties in Town.
Decisions must be made with thirty (30) days from the last day of the hearing or before the end of the taxation year, whichever is earlier.
The Clerk must send the Board’s written decision and the reasons to the persons notified of the hearing. If the Board makes a decision in favour of the complainant, the fee paid by the complainant will be refunded.