Municipal and school taxes represent a significant annual expense for property owners and lessees. Every three years, the coming of spring heralds the deadline for contesting the assessment of properties located in one of the municipalities having filed a new triennial assessment roll.
If you are a real estate owner and consider that the municipal assessment of your property is inappropriate, you can initiate an administrative review of the assessment by filing an application for review in accordance with the following deadlines:
- By April 30, 2018; or
- Within 60 days after the notice of assessment was sent.
Your application must be made using the prescribed form and be accompanied by the fee payable under the bylaws of the municipality in question. In the application, you must explain all the grounds on which you are contesting the assessment, and the conclusions you are seeking. Note that you will not be able to raise any additional grounds if you move on to the contestation stage. If you do not file an application for review by the deadline, the assessment will remain in effect until 2021.
After your application has been filed, the municipal assessor will send you a written response. In case of disagreement, you may file a contestation within 60 days following the date on which the assessor’s response was sent.
If you are a lessee, you also have the right to contest the municipal assessment of the immovable property in which your premises are located. In this regard you should refer to the clause in your lease regarding your share of property taxes, which may represent a significant portion of your occupancy costs. Be sure to obtain your property tax account well before the deadline for contesting the assessment of the immovable in which you are located (April 30, 2018) in order to determine whether you should take steps to have the assessment of the property revised.