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Residential Condominium Brief - City of Edmonton

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					Residential Condominium

 2010 Assessment Brief

   Property Tax Account:



     Municipal Address:



     2010 Assessment:




       Hearing Date:
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                                                                       Assessment Brief
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                            MASS APPRAISAL

Mass appraisal is a methodology for valuing individual properties which
involves the following process:
       • properties are stratified into groups of comparable property
       • common property attributes are identified for the properties in each
         group
       • a uniform valuation model is calibrated for each group using market
         information incorporating the property attributes


              Mass Appraisal and Single Property Appraisal

The appraisal process recommended by the Appraisal Institute of Canada is
essentially the same for mass appraisals and single-property appraisals. Such
differences as do exist are the results of differences of scale. The following two
quotations indicate how the International Association of Assessing Officers
distinguishes between mass appraisal and single-property appraisal.

       … single-property appraisal is the valuation of a particular
       property as of a given date: mass appraisal is the valuation of
       many properties as of a given date, using standard procedures
       and statistical testing.

       … Also, mass appraisal requires standardized procedures
       across many properties. Thus, valuation models developed for
       mass appraisal purposes must represent supply and demand
       patterns for groups of properties rather than a single property.

The International Association of Assessing Officers, Property Appraisal and
Assessment Administration, Chicago, Illinois, 1990, pg. 88-89


                           Method of Assessment

The City of Edmonton used multiple regression analysis (MRA) to prepare
market value assessments. The analysis utilizes two years of time adjusted
sales (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009) for residential properties in the City of
Edmonton.

Valuation date is July 1, 2009.
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                 Residential Condominium Properties

Condominium properties in the City of Edmonton are valued using the Sales
Comparison Approach. This method is one of three traditional methods of
valuation. It was determined to be the most appropriate method for the valuation
of residential properties, as this approach mirrors the actions of buyers and
sellers in the market place.

The other two methods of valuation – the income and cost approaches – were
not used in the valuation of condominium properties, as these valuation
techniques are more applicable to single titled income producing properties and
new construction respectively.

The City of Edmonton utilized the MRA tool for determining the degree of
correlation and relationship of property attributes to value.

MRA begins with the development of market areas using natural location
boundaries and property characteristics as guides. Condominium properties are
characterized into Townhouse, Highrise, Lowrise, and Parking stalls. Separate
models are developed for highrise condominiums and parking stalls. Lowrise
condominiums are assessed using two market areas (North and South). Six
market areas are developed for townhouse condominiums:

              Southside, West of Calgary Trail North of 51 Avenue
              Millwoods
              Southwest
              Castledowns
              Clareview
              Central / Downtown to Rundle Park

The MRA process uses time-adjusted sales for each of the market areas to
determine and identify which attributes affect value. The MRA tool assigns a
value (assessment) to each property based upon the significance of the
identified attributes within the market areas. The following have been identified
as market attributes which affect value within all market areas, and were used in
the valuation process:
•   Unit Size
•   Quality
•   Depreciation or Age of property
•   Location
•   Site attributes
•   Building Amenities
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               Residential Condominium Variable Definitions


Arterial or collector road influence (>=10,000 Vehicles per Day).
    1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed arterial or
       collector road influence.
    0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
       or obstructed arterial or collector road influence.

Building Areas
   •  Building Net Area: The above grade living area of a townhouse or low-
      rise / high-rise condominium unit.
   •  Basement Area: Area of a townhouse unit that is either completely or
      partially below the ground floor.
   •  Basement Finish: A basement area that has been designed and finished,
      either during construction or at a later point, to function as a fully
      habitable space within the townhouse.
   •  Partial Basement: Partial basements are found in townhouses with no
      basement. The majority of these townhouses were built prior to 1950. The
      part basement was created usually to accommodate the furnace and
      typically used as storage cellars.
   •  Lower Level Area: For split level townhouses this is the floor area
      between the main floor and the basement which is partially below grade.
   •  Lower Level Finish: For split level townhouses this is where the lower
      level has been finished into living area.
   •  Loft: An open area in a condominium unit extending from an upper floor
      where there are no partitions or doors.
   •  Solarium: A solarium is defined as a glass enclosed room or living area
      which is part of or an extension to an existing structure.
   •  Pool Building: The portion of an improvement that houses a swimming
      pool.

Commercial and Restaurant or pub Influences
   1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has a major commercial
    influence in front, behind or beside it of an active nature, such as malls,
    box centers and bars. This may also be used if there are three or more
    minor commercial influences which surround the condo complex, as well
    as two or more moderate influences or a combination of both surrounding
    the parcel of land.
   0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a
    commercial or restaurant/pub facility in front, behind or beside it of a
    minor or moderate nature, such as neighborhood strip malls, fast food
    facilities, neighborhood corner stores, shops and convenience stores.
    This may also be used if there are two minor influences which surround
    the condo complex.
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Condition of Improvement (applies to Exterior maintenance).
   Poor: Borderline derelict, many items need immediate repair.
   Fair: General maintenance of the property has not been maintained, a
     few items need immediate repair.
   Average: Average condition, average maintenance has taken place.
   Good: The property has been very well maintained for its age.

Condominium Complex Amenities
  Pool, Tennis Court, Racquetball, Recreation Room, Clubhouse, Party Room,
  Exercise Room, Guest Room, Steam Room, Car Wash or Daycare.

Courtyard influences
   1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed courtyard view.
   0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
      or obstructed courtyard view.

Effective Year Built
The effective year built of the property. This is generally more important in
establishing value than the chronological age since it measures the subject
property in comparison to a typical property with respect to utility and condition
for the year it was built.

Golf Course Influence
   1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed view of a golf
      course.
   0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
      or obstructed view of a gold course.

Industrial or Institutional Influence
    1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has an institutional or industrial
      facility in front, behind or beside it of an active nature, such as hospitals,
      large sports facilities, post secondary institutions, and other emergency
      facilities. This may also be used if there are three or more minor
      institutional influences which surround the condo complex or a
      combination of both.
    0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has an
      institutional or industrial facility in front, behind or beside it of a minor or
      moderate nature, such elementary school, church, community hall, high
      school, junior high school, recreation facilities and community pools. This
      may also be used if there are two minor influences which surround the
      condo complex.

Lake Influence
    1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed view of a lake
      or large storm pond.
    0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
      or obstructed view of a lake or large storm pond.
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Lane or Street influences (<=10,000 Vehicles per Day).
    1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed lane influence.
    0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
      or obstructed lane influence.

Market condo complex factor
     Not all condo complexes may decreasing/increasing in value at the same
     rate as the typical annual decrease/increase found in the time adjustment
     analysis, therefore Market Condo Complex Factors have been applied.

Multi-Residential or Apartment Influence
   1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has a major multi-residential
      influence in front, behind or beside it of an active nature. This would
      include high rises or even a number of moderate multi-residential
      surrounding the property.
   0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a
      commercial or restaurant/pub facility in front, behind or beside it of a
      minor or moderate nature such as walkup apartments, or a medium size
      multi-residential complexes.

Open influences farmland, “AG” properties without development, etc.
   1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed open
      influence.
   0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
      or obstructed open influence.

Overhead Transmission Lines
   All residential condominium complexes which are located directly next to
     overhead transmission lines.

Ownership factor
   1 The ownership factor identifies predominately individual separately
     owned complexes.
   0.8 The ownership factor identifies predominately one owner rental
     complexes.

Park Influence / Undeveloped area influences or unknown future
development
    1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed view of a park
      or undeveloped green space.
    0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
      or obstructed view of a park or undeveloped green space.

Parking lot influences
    1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed parking lot
      influence.
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      0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
       or obstructed parking lot influence.

Quality Classifications
   Fair (03): This class satisfies present demands for moderate cost energy
      efficient housing. The exterior usually has a common style. It has an
      adequate floor plan, finishes are fair to average quality materials and
      there is little or no attention given to decorative features.
   Standard (04): This quality represents average project housing meets
      building requirements for the era. The exterior is a typical style that is
      generally rectangle and may include entry porches or verandas. The floor
      plan is functional and finishes are normally limited to standard quality pre-
      manufactured materials with a minimum number of decorative features.
   Semi-Custom (05): This semi-custom quality represents above average
      housing exceeding building requirements for the era. More attention to
      the exterior details. Architectural design is used in living areas of all
      “move up” home construction. The floor plan is functional with a sense of
      spaciousness. Finishes are generally upgraded with a mixture of
      standard and better quality materials with decorative features. A minimum
      number of interior construction features, such as book cases, paneled
      feature walls, sunshine ceilings, telephone desks, wet bar, etc. may be
      encountered.
   Custom (06): This custom quality represents good housing exceeding
      building requirements for the era. It may be contract built. The exterior
      has an attractive style. The floor plan is functional, with an open design
      concept creating a sense of spaciousness. Architectural design is used in
      living areas of all “move up” home construction. Finishes are good quality
      materials and workmanship. A number of interior features will be present,
      such as home theater rooms, niches, built in book cases, home
      automation system, security system, intercom system, paneled feature
      walls, minimal crown moldings, sunshine ceilings with oak trim, telephone
      desks, wet bar, etc. may be present.
   Good custom (07): This class represents a good to expensive quality;
      energy efficient housing that is normally custom or contract built and, on
      occasion, may be constructed under the supervision of an architect.
      Large verandas or covered entrance ways are common with large or
      stylish columns. The exterior style may be innovative. The interior design
      often shows originality, includes built-in features and has spacious rooms.
      A number of interior features will be present, such as home theater
      rooms, niches, built in book cases, home automation system, security
      system intercom system, paneled feature walls, extensive crown
      moldings, sunshine ceilings with oak trim, telephone desks, wet bar, etc.
      Attention to detail is evident. Finishes in this quality are normally the best
      pre-manufactured or good to expensive materials.
   Expensive (08): This expensive quality represents unique design and
      style in housing exceeding building requirements for the era. It is contract
      built under the supervision of an architect and is commonly built on large
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       sites in prime residential neighborhoods. The exterior often has large
       window areas. Exterior finishes are selected for their attractiveness and
       durability, and may consist of limited amounts of costly ornamentation.
       The interior design is innovative with a considerable number of built-in
       features. Rooms are usually spacious and the floor plan often includes
       special purpose rooms. Decorative features and finishes are normally
       selected from expensive materials and attention to detail is evident.
      Luxurious (09): This luxurious quality represents the ultimate in housing
       exceeding building requirements for the era. It is contract built under the
       supervision of an architect. It is situated on large exclusive sites, and is
       characterized by abundance of large windows and a unique roof style.
       The exterior is innovative with finishes selected for attractiveness and
       durability including costly ornamentation. The interior design is unique
       and exquisite to meet individual specifications and taste. Rooms are
       spacious and floor plan includes special purpose rooms including many
       built-in features. Finishes are of luxurious quality materials and may be
       imported. Decorative features and workmanship is the highest quality with
       elaborate detail.

Railroad and LRT influence
    1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed railroad or LRT
      influence.
    0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
      or obstructed railroad or LRT influence.

Ravine or River Influence
   1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed view of a
     ravine or river.
   0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
     or obstructed view of a ravine or river.

Renovations (applies to Interior condo unit maintenance).
       MINOR (or Upgrade1) - is typically cosmetic modernization of a unit,
       involving new paint, flooring, electrical fixtures, countertop, cabinet doors
       and interior doors painted. It can also be used to identify a unit of superior
       quality than those typically found within a newly constructed complex.
       MODERATE (or Upgrade2) - is full renovation of unit, including all items
       in MINOR renovations plus new Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinetry,
       countertops, electrical and plumbing fixtures. Moderate renovation
       involves better than original quality of construction.
       MAJOR (or Upgrade3) - is used for Condo conversions only, where units
       are gutted and constructed new.

       Derelict - uninhabitable.
       Deferred Maintenance - general maintenance of the unit has not been
       maintained, a few items need immediate repair.
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       Original - average maintenance has taken place.

Single family residential influence
    1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed single family
      residential influence.
    0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
      or obstructed single family residential influence.

Skyline influences.
    1 or Open: Any condominium unit which has unobstructed skyline
      influence.
    0.5 or Obstructed and Limited: Any condominium unit which has a partial
      or obstructed skyline influence.

Study or Market Areas:
Residential Condominium Parking Stall, Low-rise and High-rise Market areas
used for modeling purpose are as follows:
      Parking Stall -     entire city
      High Rise -         entire city
      Low Rise -          entire city

Townhouse complex areas used for modeling are based on specific groupings
or assemblages of adjacent CMHC zones and neighborhoods and are as
follows:

      West of Calgary Trail & North of 51st Avenue – (market area 1).
       This market area comprises of all properties located CMHC zones 3, 7,
       and 8. This area includes those properties south of the North
       Saskatchewan River, excluding Millwoods (CMHC zone 9). Properties
       west of Calgary Trail, north of 51 Avenue, and south of the North
       Saskatchewan River fall into this market area.
      Millwoods – (market area 2).
       This market area comprises of all properties located CMHC zone 9. This
       area includes those properties located east of Calgary Trail and south of
       51 Avenue.
      Southwest – (market area 3).
       This market area comprises of all properties located CMHC zones 5 and
       6. This area includes those properties west of 149 St and south of the
       CN railway.
      Castledowns (market area 4).
       This market area comprises of all properties located CMHC zone 12. This
       area includes properties lying west of 66th Street and north of 137th
       Avenue, along with properties west of 149th Street and north of the CNR
       rail line.
      Clareview (market area 5).
       This market area comprises of all properties located CMHC zone 11.
       This area includes such properties lying east of 66th Street and north of
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       137th Avenue, along with properties east of 50th Street and north of the
       Yellowhead Highway.
      Central/Downtown to Rundle Park (market area 6).
       This market area comprises of all properties located CMHC zones 1A,
       1B, 2, 4, 10, and a portion of CMHC zone 11 that extends south of the
       Yellowhead Highway. The south boundary is north bank of the North
       Saskatchewan River between 50 Street and the Yellowhead Highway
       Bridge. The western portion of this market area is bordered by 149 Street
       where it progresses north to 137th Avenue. From 149th Street the north
       boundary extends easterly until 50th Street, until the Yellowhead Highway.
       The southern boundary follows to the North Saskatchewan River.

Traffic Influence
Traffic influences affecting the unit or dwelling, based on Average Annual
Weekday vehicle counts as reported by the City of Edmonton Transportation
and Streets Department.
      None                   0             0 to 4999 vehicles per day
      Minor                  1             5,000 to 9,999 vehicles per day
      Moderate               2             10,000 to 19,999 vehicles per day
      Major                  3             20,000 to 29,999 vehicles per day
      Extreme                4             30,000 to 49,999 vehicles per day
      Mega                   5             >50,000 vehicles per day

Undeveloped area influences or unknown future development.
Unit Location (Residential Condominium).
Location within the building of the unit or dwelling relative to others within the
building.

       Inside Unit                 1       Inside Back to Back           2
       End Unit                    3       Corner Unit                   4
       One Unit Per Floor          5       Free standing                 6
       Other                       7       Front back to back            8
       Rear back to back           9       Front corner back to back     10
       Rear corner back to back    11      Upper unit                    12




                                   SUMMARY

Residential properties are assessed using multi regression analysis, which
adjusts for attributes that impact market value, in order to arrive at a typical
market value for residential.

The resulting assessments were tested. The results indicated that our model
predictions of value meet Provincial Quality Standards as set out in the Matters
Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation, AR 220/2004.
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The assessment models, the process utilized, and the results are submitted
annually to the Assessment Services Branch of the Department of Municipal
Affairs for audit purposes.

The audit is used to determine the accuracy of our predictions relative to the
market place and is a direct reflection on the accuracy of our models.

The City of Edmonton has met all governing legislation including regulations and
quality standards.
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           2010 RESIDENTIAL ASSESSMENT COMPLAINTS
                     LAW AND LEGISLATION

Single Family Residential Properties

Property assessments in Edmonton are prepared in accordance with the requirements
of the Municipal Government Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. M-26 as amended (the “MGA”) and
the Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation, A.R. 220/04 (“MRAT”), as
amended.

The legislation requires the City to prepare assessments that represent market value by
application of the mass appraisal process. These assessments are expected to meet
quality standards prescribed by the province in MRAT.

“Market value” is defined in the MGA as the amount that a property might be expected
to realize if it is sold on the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer. The
valuation date is July 1 of the assessment year (the year prior to the taxation year),
while the condition date is December 31 of the assessment year.

In summary, single family residential assessments represent:

       •       an estimate of the value;
       •       of the fee simple estate in the property;
       •       as it existed on December 31, 2009 and
       •       would have realized if it had been sold on July 1, 2009;
       •       on the open market;
       •       under typical market conditions;
       •       by a willing seller to a willing buyer.

The assessment is a prediction of the value that would result when those specific,
defined conditions are met.

A property may also receive a supplementary assessment. Supplementary
assessments are only for improvements that are newly completed, occupied, or are
moved into the municipality during part of a tax year. The supplementary assessment
must reflect the value of an improvement that has not previously been assessed, or the
increase in the value of an improvement since it was last assessed. An “improvement”
is a structure, such as a house, that is located on the property. The supplementary
assessment is pro-rated for the number of months of the year that the improvement is
complete, occupied, or located in the municipality.

The legislation directs assessors to prepare property assessments using mass
appraisal methodology. “Mass appraisal” is defined in MRAT as “the process of
preparing assessments for a group of properties using standard methods and common
data and allowing for statistical testing”. Mass appraisal requires that:

       • properties must be stratified into groups of comparable properties;
       • common property data must be identified for the properties in each group;
       • a uniform valuation method using market information incorporating the
         property attributes must be calibrated for each group; and
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       • statistical testing.

The application of mass appraisal is designed to ensure that assessments reflect
current market conditions, and that assessments of similar properties are equitable.

The right of the taxpayer to equitable treatment in the assessment process has been
set out by the courts. The principal of fairness and equity is reinforced in the legislation;
the MGA prohibits the Assessment Review Board from altering an assessment that is
fair and equitable when compared to the assessments of similar properties.

Deciding a Complaint or Appeal

The pre-eminent status of equitable treatment is reinforced in Alberta legislation by
preventing the Review Boards from altering an assessment which is fair and equitable
when compared to the assessments of similar properties.

Legislative References

Municipal Government Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. M-26

       Assessor’s Duties
             s. 293(1) In preparing an assessment, the assessor must, in a fair and
             equitable manner,
                   (a) apply the valuation standards set out in the regulations, …

       ARB
               s. 467(2) An assessment review board must not alter any assessment
               that is fair and equitable, taking into consideration assessments of
               similar property or businesses in the same municipality.


Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation, AR 220/04, as amended

               s. 1(k) “mass appraisal” means the process of preparing assessments
               for a group of properties using standard methods and common data and
               allowing for statistical testing.

               s. 2 An assessment of property based on market value…
                      (a)    must be prepared using mass appraisal,
                      (b)    must be an estimate of the value of the fee simple
                             estate in the property, and
                      (c)    must reflect typical market conditions for properties
                             similar to that property.

Burden of Proof or Onus of the Parties

The concept of “standard of proof” refers simply to how convinced one must be that a
certain fact exists. “Burden of proof” refers to who bears the burden of establishing a
fact to that level of satisfaction.
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The standard of proof applicable in civil proceedings such as these is proof on a
balance of probabilities, which requires that in order to find that a fact exists, the
decision-maker must be more convinced of the existence of that fact than not. The
criminal standard of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt is not applicable in these
board proceedings.

       … a fundamental requirement of any judicial system is that the person who
       desires the court to take action must prove his case to its satisfaction.
       Dickinson v. Minister of Pensions [1952] 2 All E.R. 1031, at p. 1033.

The onus of proving the incorrectness of an assessment is on the individual alleging it.
The onus rests with the Complainant/Appellant to provide sufficiently convincing
evidence on which a change in the assessment can be based. The
Complaint’s/Appellant’s evidence needs to be sufficiently compelling to allow the ARB
to alter the assessment or the MGB to alter the decision of the ARB.

Manyluk v. Calgary (City), MGB Board Order 036/03, at paragraph 20, page 8.
  Every opportunity is provided to both parties to present evidence and arguments in
  support of their positions. The ultimate burden of proof or onus rests on the
  Appellant, at an assessment appeal, to convince the MGB their arguments, facts
  and evidence are more credible than that of the Respondent. However, if the
  Appellant leads sufficient evidence at the onset to establish a prima facie case, the
  evidentiary onus shifts to the Respondent. In order to establish a prima facie case,
  the Appellant must convince the ARB panel that there is merit to the appeal.

       The Appellant must establish that it is more probable than not that the
       assessment value is incorrect or inequitable. Once the evidentiary onus
       shift occurs, the validity of the assessment is in question. In order to rebut
       the Appellant’s prima facie case, and in order to raise a legitimate
       inference that the assessment is correct, the Respondent must lead
       evidence to counter the Appellant’s evidence. (Emphasis added)

Imperial Parking Ltd. v. Calgary (City) [2002] Board Order: MGB 140/02
This is an appeal to the MGB of a business tax assessment.

       In essence, the Appellant does not know if there is a problem, has no
       information upon which to make assumptions regarding the assessments and is
       in fact asking the MGB to investigate the assessments of all parkades based
       solely on hypothetical situations. In absence of any substantive evidence to
       indicate a possible problem, the MGB is not prepared to authorize a “fishing
       expedition” by the Appellant to discover if they actually have a case. [paragraph
       34]…In absence of any substantive evidence that would lead a reasonable
       person to conclude that there might be a problem of equity with the
       subject assessments, the MGB must agree with the Respondent that the
       Appellant has failed the onus test. In failing the onus test, the MGB must
       conclude that the City correctly assessed the subject property….”
       [paragraph 37]. (Emphasis added)

Kneehill (County) v. Alberta (Municipal Affairs, Linear Assessor) [2004] Board
Order MGB 001/04
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This appeal involved allegations that incorrect pipe measurements recorded in another
agency’s records were used thus causing an error in the linear assessment.

       [It is up to the parties who file a complaint on an assessment to put
       sufficient energy into proving that their allegations are well founded. In
       other words, the onus is upon the complaining party to provide sufficient
       evidence in order to prove their case (paragraph 120)]. Providing that test
       has been met, the MGB may provide directions to the DLA to correct its
       assessment where the DLA failed to do so and where a complaint comes before
       it…In this complaint, the Complainants met the required test for 14 properties.
       For the other 48 subject properties the Complainant demonstrated only that
       inconsistencies exists between the attribute and graphical record, but added
       nothing to favour the one over the other. [paragraph 141] (Emphasis added)

Landex Investment Ltd v. City of Edmonton Decision Letter MGB DL 107/04
This appeal involved the assessment of a warehouse; however, after the Appellant’s
presentation it appeared to the MGB that there were no substantive facts to suggest
there was any reason to question the assessment. The MGB found at page 3 of 4 the
following:

       Hearings before the MGB operate within an adversarial environment which
       requires the person alleging a wrong to first present sufficient evidence to shift
       the onus to the responding party. In this specific case the MGB found a lack of
       any market evidence from the Appellant to contest the lease rate used by the
       Respondent and the value of the excess land to be less than sufficient to
       transfer the onus to the Respondent. The use of comparables with significantly
       different site coverage to calculate a capitalization rate for the subject did not
       convince the MGB that the Appellant had any evidence to contest the assessed
       value of the subject.

       Nonetheless, the MGB did hear from the Respondent and was convinced that
       the Respondent’s assessed value was based on supporting market evidence.
       The weakness of the Appellant’s evidence did not convince the MGB that the
       Respondent’s position required any further probing since the onus had not
       shifted from the Appellant in the first instance.

       The MGB does not often render a decision after initial presentation of evidence
       by both parties, however, when the Appellant misses the fundamental principle
       of any appeal, confirmation is warranted. As a fundamental principal, it is the
       duty and obligation of the Appellant to illustrate with sufficient facts that there
       may be an error or problem with the assessment. The MGB previously made
       similar comment in Decision Letter DL 033/01 which was appended to the
       assessor’s presentation.

       In this particular case, suggesting low lease rates and land values does not
       constitute facts or evidence. Furthermore, establishing a cap rate from sales of
       multi and single tenant buildings with much higher site coverage does not
       establish equity.
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                                                                            Assessment Brief
                                                                                    Page 15

Legislative References

Evidence

Municipal Government Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. M-26

Section 464(1) states that assessment review boards “are not bound by the rules of
evidence or any other law applicable to court proceedings and have power to determine
the admissibility, relevance and weight of any evidence.”

Although not bound by the formal rules of evidence, the appeal tribunal must concern
itself with the concept of evidence. Decisions must be supported by factual
underpinnings. Findings of fact can only be made after the acceptance and weighing of
evidence. In deciding whether a particular piece of evidence is capable of establishing a
good factual base, the information offered by the parties must be capable, assuming it
were true, of logically establishing some fact the tribunal needs to know. Furthermore, if
accepted, the tribunal must consider whether it can rely on the information tendered, its
reliability and its ability to support the facts as alleged.

Hearsay evidence is not produced from the direct personal knowledge of the witness
but rather from the repetition of what he or she has heard others say. This type of
evidence is generally admissible by the ARB but should be received cautiously.


Jurisdiction

       Municipal Government Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. M-26
       s. 467(1) An assessment review board may make any of the following
decisions:
              (a)    dismiss a complaint that was not made within the proper time or
                     does not comply with section 460(7);
              (b)    make a change with respect to any matter referred to in section
                     460(5);
              (c)    decide that no change to an assessment roll or tax roll is
                     required.

The ARB has the jurisdiction as indicated above in (c) to confirm an assessment:

1)     if the Complainant failed to prove its allegations and thus failed to meet its onus
       (here the City has no obligation to defend its assessment); or

2)     if the Complainant tendered sufficient evidence to meet its onus and after
       reviewing the totality of evidence, finding that the City conducted a correct
       assessment (i.e. successfully defended the assessment).


Year by Year Percentage Increases

It is not uncommon for complainants to make the argument that the percentage
increase on their property is excessive and far exceeds the increases of prior years or
of other properties that are being assessed. The current market conditions in real estate
                                                                   Residential Condominium
                                                                            Assessment Brief
                                                                                    Page 16

are rapidly increasing the assessments of property and this argument will therefore
increase in frequency. Boards have dealt with this argument on many occasions. In
each case the Boards have held that each year’s assessment is independent of
previous assessments, and the mere fact of a large percentage increase without more
evidence is not enough information to draw the conclusion that an assessment is too
high.

The following quotations from the caselaw illustrate this point:

Maguire v. The City of Edmonton (October 31, 2007, ARB) unpublished.

       The Complainant raised the issue of a 43.2% increase in the assessment value
       from the previous year. The Board finds that each assessment is independent of
       the previous year’s assessment because it is based on the market value on the
       valuation date, and not on the previous year’s assessment value; therefore the
       Board could not draw any conclusion to reduce the value for this year’s
       assessment based on the previous year’s assessment value.

Lamond v. The City of Calgary MGB D.L. 063/07

       The MGB has consistently maintained in a number of decisions that a larger
       than average year over year increase in the assessment in itself is not proof of
       an incorrect assessment.

Shinkaruk v. The City of Edmonton MGB DL 085/05

       The MGB finds that the percentage increase of the subject property as
       compared to the Appellants’ assessment comparable on Ada Boulevard is not a
       valid indicator that the assessment is unfair or inequitable. First, there was no
       market evidence to illustrate all housing types increase in value annually at the
       same rate. Second, assessments are conducted on an annual basis and values
       of each property may change from year to year. The larger increase for the
       subject may only be illustrative of the fact that the subject was under assessed
       in previous years.


Legislative and Case law References

Municipal Government Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. M-26, as amended (“MGA”)
Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation, A.R. 220/04, as amended
(“AR 220/04”)

Assessment:                           MGA, ss. 284(1)(c), 284(1)(r)
Valuation Standard:                   MGA, ss. 289(2)(b), 1(1)(n), 284(1)(r);
                                      AR 220/04, s. 4(1)(a), 5(1)(b), 6, 10, 11
Valuation Dates:                      MGA, ss. 289(2)(a)
                                      AR 220/04, ss. 1(f), 3
Mass Appraisal:                       AR 220/04, ss. 1(k), 2
Supplementary Assessments:            MGA, ss. 314, 284(1)(j)
Fairness and Equity:                  MGA, ss. 293(1), 467(2), 499(2)
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                                                                       Assessment Brief
                                                                               Page 17

                                   Caselaw: Jonas v. Gilbert (1881), 5 S.C.R. 356;
                                   Bramalea Ltd. v British Columbia (Assessor of
                                   Area No. 9 - Vancouver) (1991) 76 D.L.R. (4th) 53
                                   (B.C.C.A.); Strathcona no. 20 (County) v.
                                   Assessment Appeal Board (Alberta) and Shell
                                   Canada Ltd. (1995) 165 A.R. 300 (Alta. C.A.)

If you wish more information on the law and legislation relating to property
assessments, you may obtain a more detailed “Law and Legislation” package upon
request to the Assessment and Taxation Branch, 2nd Floor, Chancery Hall, 3 Sir
Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, AB T5J 2C3; (780) 496-8876 (telephone); (780)
496-5030 (fax). In addition, you can buy copies of the Municipal Government Act,
R.S.A. 2000, c. M-26 and the Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation,
A.R. 220/04 from the Queen’s Printer at (780) 427-4952.
                                Residential Condominium
                                         Assessment Brief
                                                 Page 18



RESPONSE TO ISSUE OF COMPLAINANT/APPELLANT

Issues               Response