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Why your hotel assessment
should always be less
than market value.
Property tax caps do not work.
Do post-tension structures experience stigma?
To one-owner rental condominium apartment projects.
The Assessment Monitor - January 2008
Rickard Realty Advisors Inc.
Report on Calgary Property Tax & Assessment Matters
The Assessment Monitor - January 2008 Rickard Realty Advisors Inc. Report on Calgary Property Tax & Assessment Matters At City Hall there are several new and interesting items regarding property taxes. Perhaps the biggest is the introduction of a new Chief City Assessor - Mr. Stuart Dalgleish. This may not be good for those that wanted a basic change in the method of preparing assessments. Indications are that the current market value assessment is here to stay. Industry observers are watching for increased levels of transparency in assessment reporting and improved customer service.

Business Tax Harmonization is back. Despite the cost to continue the existing two gun approach (business and property taxes) this proposal to combine the taxes was dropped several years ago. The commercial landlords saw that they would get stuck with unpaid business taxes in cases of gross leases and high vacancy. Promoters say that the combined systems would be cheaper to maintain and better cooperation should result in solutions such as phasing in the tax shift for properties affected by Gross Leases.

Some issues are outstanding from 2007. For instance, 2004 business tax appeals for parking stalls in multifamily properties. Indications are that the matter is winding down as the City resolves some appeals through the courts and others are settled out through the negotiating efforts of Tax Agents and the City. Until each case is settled however, the 2004 assessment remains a liability and should be accounted for in the balance sheet.

The switch to an alternate form of assessing industrial properties is another concern. Actually it is the lack of transparency used by the assessor when the main-stay of valuing industrial properties, the income approach, was abandoned in favour of the Direct Sales Comparison Approach.

With all the sales of properties available to the City Assessor in this hot market, it was a logical (if not eloquently executed) idea of switching to a property sales basis for assessment. At the heart of the issue is the willingness of the Assessor to disclose the quality and type of adjustments made for important property characteristics such as Age, Condition, and Internal Finish. In the absence of these adjustment factors the over-site committee (MGB) cannot make reasoned decisions.

Preliminary hearings to compel the assessor to fully disclose the adjustment factors used in their sales analysis are scheduled and further direction is expected in the spring of 2008. It is early yet to determine if the same argument prevails for the current year's industrial assessments.

Those of us other 15,000 commercial property owners tend to consider assessments acceptable when they are both at the market value (as per a sale price) and at the assessments of other nearby similar properties. Tax payers often forget that it was the Bramalea (BC) decision, and in part those of RRAI in Alberta, that set the standard of the owner being entitled to the lower of these two amounts.

For Calgary's approximately 400,000 home owners we recommend checking the 2008 assessments using the free Home Owner's analysis feature on Rickard's web page www.propertytaxes.com.

In summary, there will continue to be opportunities to serve concerned property owners with our 25 year history of tax review and appeal services for as long as the market value assessment system and this buoyant real estate market both remain.
Archive  
The Assessment Monitor - January 2008 - Report on Calgary Property Tax & Assessment Matters
Why your hotel assessment should always be less than market value.
Property tax caps do not work.
Do post-tension structures experience stigma?
To one-owner rental condominium apartment projects.
Hotels: Assessment vs. Market Value - The Missing Link