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Pre-Roll Consultation Key to Ensuring Accurate Property Tax

07/10/2019


Are you paying more than your fair share of property taxes? The answer depends on whether your property has been accurately assessed.

Many Calgarians receive their property tax assessment and accept it without having it reviewed. But consider this: in 2019, the City of Calgary Assessment department will assess more than 500,000 properties. With this volume of properties, an individual analysis of each property is not realistic. As well, provincial legislation requires assessment departments utilize mass appraisal to determine annual assessed values.

What this means for property owners is the assessed value may not reflect the specific characteristics of each property. Often this can lead to inaccurate assessments, which in turn can result in the property owner paying more than their fair share of property taxes.

Fortunately, there’s something you can do, even before receiving your assessment notice. It’s called a pre-roll consultation, which is an opportunity the city provides  commercial property owners to discuss their 2020 assessment, starting in October. Pre-roll consultation allows a property owner or consultant to have input in the upcoming property values while the assessment is still in ‘draft’ form. A draft of the assessed value is received before the release of the assessment roll in January. This allows you to start a review process early and have your assessment adjusted before the value is finalized.

Pre-roll consultation allows you to correct market- and site-specific issues before the 2020 assessment is finalized and mailed out in the first week of January.

How It Works

The City of Calgary began accepting online authorizations for the 2020 Pre-Roll and Assessment year in September. The deadline to sign-up your consultant for pre-roll is October 20, 2019. However, to participate in pre-roll discussions, property owners must be compliant with any Section 295 Requests for Information which have been issued from the municipality.

Once requirements have been met, a trusted property tax specialist can assist in reviewing the preliminary assessment and ensure your property has been valued correctly. In the event the assessment seems to be inaccurate, the consultant will work with the city’s assessment department to resolve any issues, providing them with market evidence and property-specific information. Issues resolved during pre-roll will result in tax savings before you receive your tax bill.

Benefits

Pre-roll consultation provides added certainty for next year’s assessments, allowing property owners, managers and tenants to better budget for 2020 tax liabilities. Identifying and resolving issues during pre-roll can also avoid the need for an appeal. Tax savings are immediate and are reflected on the property tax bill.

Appeals typically take a long time to resolve, often running past the tax bill due date. This results in property owners paying the full property tax amount and receiving a credit upon conclusion of the appeal.

What You Need

To represent your properties, the property tax consultant will require the following information:

  • 2019 Assessment notice
  • Letter of Authorization to act on your behalf. This will ensure your property tax advisor receives the preliminary 2020 assessment values and supporting assessment information in time for discussions.

At the conclusion of the pre-roll consultation period, your advisor will provide you a summary of results and any recommendations of further appeal.

The Bottom Line

Don’t just accept your property assessment, especially if you feel like it’s too high. Pre-roll consultation can identify assessment issues early, so you don’t have to pay more tax than necessary, plus gives you accurate information to plan for the future.

For more information, contact Giovanni Worsley, Property Tax Services, at 403.263.3385 or [email protected]