You can appeal the assessment of a property in Saskatoon. Appeals are heard by the Board of Revision, a quasi-judicial body appointed by City Council under Section 192 of The Cities Act.
The basic principle to be applied by the Board in all cases is set out in The Cities Act, which states that the dominant and controlling factor in the assessment of property is equity. The Board’s priority is to ensure that all parties receive a fair hearing and that the rules of natural justice come into play.
For more information about the current Board of Revision, see Boards & Committees.
Provincial legislation requires all properties in Saskatchewan to be reassessed every four years to ensure that assessment values are up-to-date, accurate and fair. Saskatchewan uses a results-based, mass-appraisal process. The last reassessment year was in 2013. Since 2013, property owners have been paying property tax each year based on the of their property as of January 1, 2011. Market value is the amount the City estimates the property would have sold for on the open market, on a given date legislated by the Government of Saskatchewan.
Have questions about your assessment notice? View the detailed list of Frequently Asked Questions below or call Assessment & Taxation at 306-975-3227, we're pleased to assist you.
Appealing Your Assessment
- When you receive your property assessment notice in January 2017, take the time to fully review it. You have 60 days from the mailing date on the notice to review and correct the information stated on your notice.
- Use the City of Saskatoon Property Assessment & Tax Tool found at saskatoon.ca/taxtool to review accuracy of the physical characteristics of your property.
- If you come across an error in your property assessment, tax class, or exemption status as a result of your review, contact us first at 306-975-3227; most assessment related errors can be resolved by speaking with an assessor – with no formal appeal fees required.
- If after speaking with an assessor you still disagree with your property’s assessment, you can file a formal appeal with the Saskatoon Board of Revision. Information on this process is located on the back of your assessment notice.
- Changes to your property assessment will only be considered if your inquiry is received during the Customer Review Period: Ensure you contact us during the 60-day Customer Review Period: January 9 - March 10, 2017
Filing a Formal Appeal
To file a formal assessment appeal, complete the appeal form that was included with your assessment notice in its entirety or click on the link below to download a printable appeal form and include the appropriate filing fee by the deadline noted on your assessment notice.
The appeal form should be either:
Secretary, Board of Revision
c/o City Clerk's Office, City Hall
222 - 3rd Avenue North
Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5
Secretary, Board of Revision
City Clerk's Office
2nd Floor, North Wing
You must mail or deliver both your notice of appeal and appeal fee (outlined below) by the appeal deadline. Your appeal must be received no later than the 'Last Date of Appeal' found on your Notice of Assessment. Failure to submit the required fees and information by the deadline will result in your appeal being dismissed.
The 60-day Customer Review Period is January 9 - March 10, 2017.
What are the Costs to File a Formal Appeal?
You must enclose a filing fee with your appeal. Payment can be made by cash, cheque, or money order. The appeal fees, as set out in Bylaw 7595, are:
- Residential (single family) - $30.00 / property
- Residential (condominium) - $30.00 / unit
- Multi-unit Residential Property and Commercial Property with a total assessment of:
- $500,000 or less - $150.00
- More than $500,000 but less than $1,000,000 - $500.00
- $1,000,000 or more - $750.00
What Must be Included with the Notice of Appeal?
When you submit an appeal, you must:
- identify the property under appeal (roll number and civic address);
- identify whether you wish to use the simplified or regular appeal process;
- indicate what you are appealing, i.e., property valuation, property classification, exemption, preparation or content of the Assessment Roll, preparation or content of your Notice of Assessment;
- clearly state the specific grounds on which it is alleged that an error exists;
- in summary form, list the particular facts supporting each ground of appeal;
- if known, set out the change to the assessment roll you are requesting;
- indicate whether you have discussed the appeal with the assessor and the outcome of the discussion, including the details of any facts or issues agreed to. If you have not discussed the appeal with an assessor, indicate why no discussion was held;
- provide a mailing address and telephone number where you can be reached;
- sign and date your appeal;
- enclose your appeal fee.
Note: simply stating that the assessment is too high is not sufficient. If you feel that your assessment is too high you must provide evidence to the Board of Revision that your property is assessed incorrectly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who will hear my appeal?
The Board of Revision will hear your appeal. It is a body appointed by City Council as set out in The Cities Act, and it is administered by the City Clerk’s Office. The Board of Revision operates at arm’s length to hear appeals on property assessments. Board members come from a variety of backgrounds and are not employees of the City of Saskatoon.
What can be appealed to the Board of Revision?
You may file an appeal if you feel there is an error involving:
- property valuation
- property classification
- preparation or content of the Assessment Roll
- preparation or content of your Notice of Assessment
Remember, a property assessment appeal is not about the level of taxation or level of service.
What is the "Simplified Appeal Process"?
A Simplified Appeal process is followed at the option of an appellant appealing the assessment of a single family residential property, or any property that has a total assessment of $250,000 or less.
The Simplified Appeal process is intended to provide a less onerous, less formal adjudication process for persons who appeal their assessments. Not opting for a "simplified appeal" would mean, among other things, that your appeal would be a more formal adjudication process, which would require that any additional written materials you wish to have considered by the Board of Revision, be served on both the Secretary of the Board, and City Assessor at least 20 days in advance of the hearing. Non-compliance with this requirement may result in the Board refusing to accept or consider the materials. This requirement is waived in simplified appeals.
How do I change or correct my school support?
If school support is improperly designated, a signed school declaration must accompany the notice of appeal and must be submitted by the last date of appeal in order to take effect for the 2016 roll. A late return of the declaration form will result in the appeal being cancelled, but the change in school support will be applied for 2017. Failure to return the declaration will result in the appeal being cancelled and no change to school support.
Please note that a signed declaration form for each owner of the property who wishes to change their school support must be completed and submitted along with the appeal form. No fee is required for a change to school support.
When are appeals heard?
You will be provided with at least 30 days' notice in writing of the date, time and place of your hearing. Hearings are usually held at City Hall. For the most part, your appeal hearing will be scheduled as part of a "block" of hearings set for the same time. You are required to be in attendance at the time stated. Before the first appeal in the "block" is heard, the chairperson will explain the hearing procedure.
Is there another level of appeal?
Yes. The Saskatchewan Municipal Board, Assessment Appeals Committee is the next level of appeal if the assessment remains in dispute after the decision of the Board of Revision.
You or the City Assessor can appeal the Board's decision to the Assessment Appeals Committee. Appeals to the Committee must be received within 30 days of being served with the Board of Revision's decision.
For more information about appeals to the Assessment Appeals Committee, please call 306-787-2658 (Regina) or email.
Can I have someone else represent me at my hearing?
Yes. You can have legal counsel, a tax consultant or anyone that you feel can adequately present your case before the Board.
Can I appeal directly to the Assessment Appeals Committee?
In most circumstances, you cannot. There are exceptions. Further information can be obtained from the Saskatchewan Municipal Board, Assessment Appeals Committee at 306-787-2658, or email.
If I have properties in different municipalities with the same basis of appeal for all, must I file in each municipality?
Yes, but at the same time as you file with the various individual municipalities, you may also file an application for leave to the Assessment Appeals Committee requesting that all of the subject appeals be heard as one appeal. Forms for leave applications are available from the Assessment Appeals Committee, Saskatchewan Municipal Board. Call 306-787-2658, or email for more information.
What happens at a hearing?
Hearings before the Board of Revision are generally conducted as follows:
- When the clerk calls for your appeal, you will take your seat before the Board and state your name for the record. You will be asked to take an oath or affirm.
- Proceed with your case introducing evidence on the specific grounds on which it is alleged that an error in assessment exists.
- You may be cross-examined by the Assessor.
- The Assessor will be asked to proceed in the same manner and you will be given an opportunity to cross-examine the Assessor.
- You will be allowed to present rebuttal evidence. Remember that any rebuttal evidence must be different from what you have already presented and must be related to the matters raised by the Assessor.
- You will be asked for a summation of evidence and argument. The Assessor will be asked for the same.
- You will be given an opportunity for final rebuttal. This is an opportunity to make new arguments to respond to the Assessor's arguments, not to simply reiterate what has already been said. The rebuttal arguments must be responsive to arguments raised by the Assessor.
How should I present my appeal?
Here are some tips for presenting your appeal:
- Be prepared to follow the procedure set out above.
- Be as specific as possible. Keep in mind a property assessment appeal is not about the level of taxation or the services you receive, but about how your property was assessed.
- If comparing your property to others, describe the land parcels and size of buildings. Also describe their quality, classification, condition and other factors that could affect the value.
- When comparing your business property to others, describe the square footage, as well as the neighbourhood, age, and quality of the buildings in which the businesses are located.
- If you are using written material (including photos, sketches, plot plans, etc.), you must file a copy with both the Secretary to the Board and the City Assessor's Office at least 20 days prior to the appeal. The Board is not obliged to consider late materials. Application for acceptance of late materials must be made at the beginning of the hearing. The acceptance of late materials will be at the discretion of the Board. In the event that late material is accepted, you must be prepared to provide at least five copies at the hearing.
Can I call an expert witness?
The appellant or the Assessor may call an expert witness, i.e., a person who has specialized training and expertise in some or all of the issues in the hearing. If you plan to do this, please notify the Secretary, Board of Revision in advance of the hearing.
The expert must be "qualified" before the Board will grant the person expert witness status. This will occur at the beginning of that witness’ testimony.
The party calling the witness will get the witness to testify about his/her area of expertise, and then will ask the Board to accept the witness "... as an expert in ... ". The other party will then get an opportunity to cross-examine the witness on his/her expertise. Once that cross examination is complete, the Board will ask the other party if there is an objection to the acceptance of the witness as an expert. If there is an objection, the objections shall be outlined and the parties then can make argument on these points.
The Board must then decide whether to accept the witness as an expert as requested by the party calling the witness (if appropriate, the Board might limit the description of expertise more narrowly than that put forward).
Is there anything else I should know about?
The City Assessor will file a copy of any written presentation, including a complete assessment field sheet and written explanation of how the assessment was determined, with both the Secretary of the Board and yourself, at least 10 days prior to the date set for your hearing.
The City Assessor may have supplemental material in response to your submission. The onus is on the City Assessor to provide copies of any supplemental material to you and any parties to the appeal. Acceptance of such supplemental material will be at the discretion of the Board of Revision, and subject to such conditions as the Board may direct.
Requests for adjournments other than those contemplated in The Cities Act (i.e. must attend more than one hearing in more than one municipality on the same day) will be considered by the Board but will generally not be granted unless they are reasonable and clearly necessary. Requests for adjournments should be made as early as possible and, except in cases of emergent circumstances, well in advance of the hearing date.
As a matter of procedure, all hearings will be recorded for internal purposes only. These tapes will not be provided to the parties. Access to the tapes will be limited to the Board members and the Board of Revision staff.
If you wish to have any part of the hearing recorded or wish to have a transcript of the hearing, you must submit your request in writing to the Board of Revision at least 2 days prior to the date of the hearing. You will be responsible for any recording or transcription fees, regardless of whether you succeed in the appeal. Also, you will be responsible for the costs of producing an additional copy of the transcript, in the event that you choose to appeal further to the Assessment Appeals Committee, Saskatchewan Municipal Board.
What if I decide to withdraw my appeal?
You may withdraw your appeal at any time prior to the hearing. If you decide to withdraw your appeal, you are requested to notify the Board of Revision in writing. If you do so at least 15 days before your hearing, your appeal fee will be refunded.
A withdrawal form is available from the City Clerk's Office 306-975-3240, or it can be downloaded and printed out.
Do I have to attend the hearing?
If you do not personally wish to attend the hearing, you can have legal counsel, a tax consultant, or anyone that you feel can adequately present your case, attend on your behalf.
There are two important reasons however why you should attend or why you should have someone attend on your behalf:
- If neither you nor an agent attend your hearing, you give up your right to appeal the Board of Revision's decision to the Assessment Appeals Committee, Saskatchewan Municipal Board. If you have more than one Board of Revision hearing in different municipalities on the same day, you may ask the board for an adjournment. The board will set a new date for your hearing.
- Your appeal will be more effective if you attend the hearing, present evidence, and answer questions the board members may have. If you do not attend your hearing, the board may consider the appeal in your absence. If the board decides to consider the appeal in your absence, then any written materials filed by you will be reviewed and the Assessor will be given an opportunity to respond and/or make a recommendation. That is why it is important to make sure your written material clearly and completely describes the alleged error in your assessment.
When will the Board of Revision make a decision?
All decisions will be written. You will not receive a decision on the day of your appeal. The Secretary of the Board of Revision will send you a written decision by registered mail. All decisions must be made within 180 days after the assessment notices have been sent out.
What if I disagree with the Board's decision?
If you or your representative attend the hearing you have the right to appeal the decision of the Board of Revision. The appeal will be heard by the Assessment Appeals Committee, Saskatchewan Municipal Board. You must appeal no later than 30 days after being served with the Board of Revision’s decision. The necessary forms and instructions on how to further appeal will be included with the decision of the Board of Revision, or call (306) 787-2658.