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Preparing for the Hearing

Once you have submitted your complaint, the Clerk will determine which Board will hear your complaint. There are two types of Assessment Review Boards. The Local Assessment Review Board (LARB) hears complaints about farmland and residential property with up to three dwelling units, and the Composite Assessment Review Board (CARB) hears complaints about residential property with four or more dwelling units and non-residential property i.e. Business, Commercial and Industrial.

Following the filing of your complaint, the Clerk will notify you of your hearing date along with the disclosure dates to submit your evidence. The hearing is your chance to prove that your assessment is incorrect or unfair.

Disclosure of Evidence

Once the hearing date has been set, you will need to pay strict attention to the disclosure dates identified in your hearing notice. Any information that has not been provided to the Board and the opposing party will not be heard by the Assessment Review Board, therefore, you must be aware of the following timelines:

For a complaint to be heard by a LARB:

  • Complainant1 MUST submit their evidence 21 days before the hearing date;
  • Respondent2 MUST submit their evidence 7 days before the hearing date; and
  • Complainant MUST submit their rebuttal 3 days before the hearing.

For a complaint to be heard by a CARB:

  • Complainant MUST submit their evidence 42 days before the hearing date,
  • Respondent MUST submit their evidence 14 days before the hearing date, and
  • Complainant MUST submit their rebuttal 7 days before the hearing.

Parties3 are obligated to and MUST ensure the opposing party has received their evidence.

Evidence – What is Evidence?

Evidence is the information you will use to prove your assessment is incorrect or unfair. You are responsible for gathering all the information that will demonstrate your case. Your evidence MUST include:

  • All relevant facts supporting the matters of complaint described on the complaint form;
  • All documentary evidence to be presented at the hearing;
  • A list of witnesses who will give evidence at the heating;
  • A summary of testimonial evidence;
  • The legislative grounds and reason for the complaint; and
  • Relevant case law and any other information that the complainant considers relevant.

Types of Evidence:

  • A written submission, notes taken from viewing the assessment roll.
  • Documents – registry searches, sales data, MLS listings, repair estimates, appraisals etc.
  • Photographs and maps.
  • Written views of a realtor or appraiser.

Submitting your Disclosure of Evidence

Assessment Review Board

Email: arb@rmwb.ca

Mail:
Clerk, Assessment Review Board 9909 Franklin Avenue, Fort McMurray AB T9H 2K4

In-person Delivery:
7th Floor, Jubilee Centre
9909 Franklin Avenue, Fort McMurray AB

Fax: 780-743-7028

Assessment Services Branch

Email:assessment.taxation@rmwb.ca

Mail: Assessment Services Branch
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
9909 Franklin Avenue, Fort McMurray AB T9H 2K4

In-person Delivery: 1st Floor, Jubilee Centre
9909 Franklin Avenue, Fort McMurray AB

Fax: 780-743-7050


Paper Copies

For the hearing the parties MUST bring five paper copies of their evidence to the hearing, three hard copies for the board, one hard copy for the opposing party and one hard copy for the record. These copies must be handed in to the Clerk at the commencement of the hearing

Procedures followed at the public hearing

  • Parties must check in with the Clerk upon arrival at the hearing.
  • The hearing is called to order and board members are introduced.
  • The parties introduce themselves.
  • The presiding officer outlines the hearing process.
  • The Clerk introduces the assessment complaint.
  • The complainant presents his/her case.
  • The respondent/assessor and board members may ask questions to the complainant.
  • The respondent presents his/her case.
  • The complainant and the board members may ask questions to the respondent.
  • The complainant presents the rebuttal evidence, followed by questions if any.
  • Summaries from the parties.
  • Closing instructions from the Board, a written decision will be issued 30 days following the close of the hearing.

Attendance

Whilst attendance at the hearing is not required, we recommend that you do attend your hearing, parties may have someone (an agent4, friend or family member) to speak on their behalf. If you choose to have someone appear on your behalf, you must complete the Agent Authorization Form5. If you do not attend the hearing, the hearing will still continue as scheduled, the Board will consider the complaint based on the information (evidence filed) that was submitted.

*Tax Consultants – Please note if a number of complaints are filed on similar property types, and you wish for them to be heard consecutively, you must notify the Clerk as soon as possible.

Request for postponement

A request to reschedule must be made by completing the “Request for Postponement” form. Your request must contain reasons for the postponement. If granted by the Board, the Clerk will schedule a new hearing date. If denied, the hearing will proceed as scheduled.

Withdrawal of a complaint

If you wish to withdraw your complaint the “Withdrawal of a Complaint” form must be submitted to the Clerk as soon as possible.

Refunds

If the assessment review board makes a decision in favour of the complainant, or if all issues under complaint are corrected by agreement between the complainant and the assessor and the complaint is withdrawn prior to the hearing, the filing fee will be refunded.

Forms

Assessment Review Board Forms.


1 Complainant – a person who files a complaint.

2 Respondent – a person(s) who replies i.e. the Assessor/Municipality.

3 Parties – refers to the Complainant and Respondent.

4 Agent – means a person or company who for a fee or potential fee acts for an assessed person or taxpayer during the assessment complaint process or at a hearing before an assessment review board.

5 Agent Authorization Form – an agent may not file a complaint or act for an assessed person or taxpayer at a hearing unless the assessed person or taxpayer has prepared and filed with the Clerk or an administrator an assessment complaints agent authorization form.

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