Assessment Appeals

Assessment Appeals

A property owner who objects to their assessment, has the right under Section 30 of the Assessment Act to appeal the assessment notice. The following provides an outline of the appeal process.

The deadline to file an appeal is 60 days from the date of the assessment notice is issued. The exact date will be stated on the assessment notice. Please note, the appeal must be received or postmarked on or before the date indicated. The legislation does not permit acceptance of late appeals.

Preparing for my Property Assessment Appeal Hearing

Step 1 - Review of Assessment Notice
Step 2 - Discussion with Assessment Division
Step 3 - Filing the Appeal
Step 4 - Review of Property Assessment
Step 5 - Appeal Hearing
Step 6 - Appeal the Decision

Step 1 – Review of Assessment Notice
When you receive your assessment notice, please review the details listed carefully.

The value on your assessment notice should reflect the value of the property including land and all improvements as of the base date. The base date for the 2022 assessment notice is January 1, 2020.

Step 2 – Discussion with Assessment  Division
If you believe the information on your notice of assessment is incorrect or you have questions about the assessment please contact the City’s Assessment Division. The assessment division can be reached by email assessment@stjohns.ca or call 709-576-8929.

An Assessor will discuss your property file and explain the valuation process for your property.

Step 3 – Filing the appeal
Reaching out to the assessment office for discussion does not extend the appeal period. Property owners must file appeal 60 days from the date of the assessment notice. The deadline for filing an appeal will be noted on the assessment notice.

To file an appeal, property owner must completed the section of the assessment notice and return to the City Clerks office along with the appeal fee.
 
When submitting an appeal, it is important that the property owner complete the appeal section fully. Information to be provided is listed below and includes:

  • the grounds for the appeal

  • Contact information (phone and/ or email) to ensure that the City can contact you with details regarding your appeal. It is important to provide contact information as the first step in the appeal process is a review of the property. During this step an assessor will contact the owner to review property information; this may include an inspection of the property.

  • Payment of the appeal fee: $60 for residential properties and $200 for commercial properties. If the appeal is successful, the appeal fee will be returned.

  • Selection of hearing format either in person or virtually

It is important to ensure that your appeal form and payment is received by the City Clerk’s office by the appeal deadline, noted on the bottom of your assessment. Appeals received after the deadline will not be processed.

Step 4 – Review of Property Assessment
Upon receipt of an appeal the City’s Clerks office will notify the Assessment Division an assessment appeal has been filed and the grounds for the appeal.

Following such notification, the Assessor responsible for the property will contact the property owner. If required, a property inspection and/or additional information may be requested from the property owner. Section 7 and Section 8 of the Assessment Act provides the assessor the right to enter the property and request information. Failure to provide access or requested information may result in denial of the appeal. Further details on penalty for not providing information is contained in Section 47 of the Assessment Act.

Following a review of the property information an assessor will contact the property owner to confirm details of the review and advise of any change in the assessment if applicable. At this point in the process the property owner can accept the results of the review and withdraw their appeal, or they can continue with their appeal to appeal hearing stage.

Step 5 – Appeal Hearing
An Assessment appeal hearing is heard by the Commissioner. Prior to January 31 each year, Council appoints person(s) who act as the Commissioner of the Assessment Review Court. In order to ensure the Court’s impartiality a commissioner during their term of office maybe not be a member of council for the City or an employee of the City.

The Commissioner has no authority over taxes or taxation levels in the municipality. The Commissioner can only hear appeals relating to the assessment of a property.

The property owner (or designated representative) will be advised at least 10 days before the date and time of the hearing. Appeal hearings are now conducted in person or virtually. Hearings will be scheduled in the format selected by the appellant (property owner) at their time of appeal filing.

During the hearing, each party (the property owner and the assessor) will be given an opportunity to present their case. The commissioner may ask questions during the hearing as well as the property owner and the assessor. Appeal proceedings are recorded for record keeping purposes.

Following the hearing the Commissioner can confirm or amend the assessment appealed by increasing or decreasing the assessment. The Commissioners decision will be provided in writing to both parties.

Step 6 – Appeal the decision
If either party is not satisfied with the Commissioner’s decision, they can file an appeal with the Trial Division, Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. Appeals must be filed within thirty (30) days of mailing or delivery of the Commissioner’s decision.

As per Section 39 of the Assessment Act “The court shall either confirm or vacate the decision of the Commissioner and where vacated the court shall refer the matter back to the commissioner with the opinion of the court as to the error in law or jurisdiction and the Commissioner shall deal with the matter in accordance with that opinion”