9 November 2022
Notices of Municipal Evaluation (2023-2024-2025): Deadlines and Modalities for Contestation
Property owners in Quebec are currently receiving evaluation notices for period 2023-2024-2025. The increases can be substantial, leaving owners with significantly higher operating expenses for the next three years.
Numerous factors affect an assessment. For example, the condition of a building, maintenance works required and rates of inoccupancy may all present a legitimate reason to request a reassessment, with a view of obtaining a reduced municipal tax bill.
What are the delays?
If you disagree with the assessment received, the delays to act are strict:
- If you’ve already received the notice, the deadline to file an administrative review of the assessment is April 30, 2023;
- If your notice is dated on or after March 1, 2023, you benefit from an additional delay of
- 60 days following the date of the notice; OR
- If the property has a deemed evaluation of 3 $M or more (as per the assessment received) 120 days following the date of the notice.
How does the review process work?
- The request for a revision must be initiated by filing the Application for a Revision and paying the filing fees. (The filing fees will reflect the estimated value of the property.)
- Once the review request has been opened, an evaluator will be appointed to the file.
- The review body has until September 2023 to communicate its final decision.
- If you are unsatisfied with the decision, the matter can be appealed to the Tribunal administratif du Québec.
Risks and guidelines:
- A reassessment will either increase, decrease, or leave the value unchanged. Should it be increased, you may need to accept the higher tax bill.
- A pending review is not justification for withholding municipal taxes during the process with a view of hoping to pay less. The municipal taxes must be paid as and when due. (Adjustments may be applied after the final decision.)
The chances of successfully contesting an increased assessment will be affected by the evidence that can be provided. It is important to properly document the state of the property and submit proper explanations to justify the review. For example, the following may prove useful:
- Time-stamped photos;
- A recent appraisal by a chartered appraiser;
- A detailed building inspection by a qualified professional (engineer, architect, etc.);
- Soil and environmental reports (Ex. Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments);
- Quotes by RBQ certified contractors for any required repairs, maintenance or remediation work;
- An updated rent roll.
In addition, the type and use of the property as well as the owner’s business plan may also affect the incentive to file a review or not, as the tax consequences will vary. If you are questioning your next steps pursuant to a recently received notice of assessment, we encourage you to communicate with a member of KRB’s litigation group. Our team is well placed to provide you with options, connect you with relevant external experts and protect your recourses.