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Assessment Appeals
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Assessment Appeals

Rickard Realty Advisors Inc. reviews and appeals both business and property tax assessments. This has been our mainstay since the company began in Calgary, Alberta in 1983. Our mission is, for a professional fee, to pursue fairness and equity in municipal taxation. After years of assessment reviews and thousands of appeals our expertise in western Canada is amongst the best. Our team of dedicated technical and professional people are highly experienced in sourcing the causes of the inaccuracies and presenting the information which results in favourable amendments being made.

We examine nearby assessments of similar properties and review the market value of the property in question, often formulating technical arguments involving our expertise and the assistance of special experts. The taxpayer is entitled to the lower of either, an assessment derived from the market value of the property (i.e., the price a willing buyer would pay a willing seller, neither party being under any duress) or the assessment of other similar nearby properties. In the world of the assessment, where the value is set by one government institution and then reviewed for oversights by another government department, the Courts have upheld that the taxpayer is entitled to the benefit of any doubt between the two characteristics of value. “Similar properties research” is aided by access to both our extensive in -house assessment records and professionally available electronic data bases.

Market value of a property in a mass appraisal system is calculated by admittedly rough measures designed to treat everyone evenly, if not precisely. North American assessment systems have become driven by computer analysis and statistical testing. Both the adage that “one cannot fight City Hall” and the level of competence required to master the mass appraisal system deters the average person and results in assessment appeals of ± 2%. This in turn creates the impression that “the system” operates at 98% efficiency and one more reason to accept the assessment as is. Expertise in this daunting field comes from first-hand experience with thousands of properties, reviewing the assessments and appealing where warranted. Our successful appeals add to the body of knowledge. The constant monitoring of appeal decisions shows us that greater assessment precision is available to the professional and discerning eye.

Adding to our team approach, local expertise, and oversight precedents is the affiliation with various experts from other jurisdictions. Rickard Realty Advisors Inc. and, in turn our clients, benefit from affiliations in most of Canada’s provinces and some of the states in the USA. Also, maintaining memberships in organizations like the Canadian Property Tax Association and the Appraisal Institute of Canada brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to bear on assessment challenges.

Our services can be paid for in the traditional hourly rate method or as a percentage of the recouped taxes. The combination of successful appeals and a professional relationship with the assessment community has resulted in many repeat clients. We see this communication process as paramount to our success.

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