What is property assessment?
Property assessment is the process of determining a property’s assessed value for property tax purposes as of a specific date.
Assessed value is not market value; however, for most types of property it is close to the average market value in that municipality or neighborhood.
Assessed value is determined by applying the market valuation standard and the rules and procedures that are contained in The Municipalities Act, Saskatchewan Assessment Manual and, by following the appropriate statutes.
Local governments use property assessments as a basis for the distribution of property taxes among property owners. Property assessment is not the same as property tax. The assessment of a property is the value assigned to it as the basis for allocating taxes among various classes of property. Property Assessments are performed by SAMA (Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency).
What property is assessable?
All land and improvements (buildings) are assessable.
- The term “land” refers to the ‘parcel of land’ that is legally surveyed parcel of ground to which an owner has title or a lessee has access.
- “Improvements” are buildings or structures on the land, including machinery or equipment that is used to service the building.
- “Property” means land or improvements or both.
What is the relationship between property assessment and taxes?
The key difference is that assessment is SAMA’s responsibility, while the task of setting property taxes belongs to municipal governments. The relationship between assessment and taxes comes from the fact that municipal governments levy taxes as a “mill rate” that is charged as a proportion of property’s assessment value.
Assessed value * Municipal mill rate + Base Tax = Property Taxes
Why did the value of my property change?
The real estate market may have changed. Market forces are the usual cause of a change in assessments. These changing markets are seen every four hours years when SAMA does a “revaluation” that updates assessments using a new base date. The base date is the year on which property assessments are determined. For that reason, revaluations are done every four years so that assessed values remain as up-to-date as possible. The current revaluation was implemented in 2017 and is based on 2015 market conditions.
A property may also have been changed. For example, the buildings may have been upgraded. The change in physical data can happen any time.
When is the next revaluation?
The next revaluation will be completed in 2021.
Why is it that my assessment value may not match what I just paid for a property, or what another appraiser said my property is worth?
To create an equitable system, SAMA determines assessments that reflect long-term values, and avoid short term market fluctuations. The selling price for any individual property is always subject to short-term, local market conditions, not on long-term fair value. Even their assessments, however, may not be the same as what an individual buyer and seller may agree upon when selling a property.
Who can I contact to explain my assessment?
If you have specific questions regarding why your property has been assessed a certain way, or what the things on your assessment mean, you may contact SAMA directly at 1-800-667-7262 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact the Town Office at 306-352-8694 regarding the assessment, and the appeals process, or with questions on how your assessment might affect your taxes.
What if I feel my assessment is incorrect?
If you feel your assessment is in error you can appeal it if you have sufficient grounds for the appeal. For example perhaps SAMA has rated the condition of your property ‘average’, but you feel it is in ‘poor’ condition, or they have assessed a deck on your property in 2002 and the deck has since been removed. The more information you can provide to back up your grounds for appeal the better.
Can I appeal my assessment even if I wasn’t reassessed this year?
Yes. Anyone can appeal their assessment in any year while the assessment roll is open. In a regular year the roll is open for 30 days, in a province-wide revaluation year (every four years, the last one was in 2017), it is open for 60 days. Simply submit the associated appeal fee with the applicable appeal form (Form F) which is available online or from the Town Office while the roll is open and your appeal will be processed.
How do appeals work?
When you submit your appeal form with your appeal fee, the appeal information is sent to SAMA and to the Board of Revision. SAMA will review your appeal to see if there has in fact been an error on their end that they can make an agreement to correct. If you agree to their correction, you sign the agreement to adjust, withdraw your appeal and receive a refund of your appeal fee. If there is no agreement to adjust through SAMA, your appeal will be reviewed and heard by the board. If you win your appeal you will receive a refund of your appeal fee.
Appeal Fees: $50.00 per $100,000 of assessed value up to a maximum fee of $600. Made payable to the Town of Grand Coulee.
Your municipal taxes pay for the day to day operation of the municipality such as police, fire, road maintenance, parks and recreational facilities, municipal administration, public works staff, council costs, etc.
Education Property Taxes – Prairie Valley School Division
The Town of Grand Coulee is responsible for collecting a portion of the provincial education tax from town property owners on behalf of the Provincial Government. The Board of Education relies on property taxes to support education throughout the province. While the Town is required by legislation to collect school taxes and lodge authority taxes, the municipality has no control over the setting of the tax rates.
Property and other taxes imposed by the Town are deemed to be imposed on the first day of January in each year and shall be due on September 30th of the same year. There will be no discounts for early payments. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline to pay your 2020 taxes has been extended to December 31st for this year only. For more information on tax deadlines and penalties view Bylaw 14-2017 Property Tax Penalties.
You cannot appeal your tax notice or your tax rate, you can only appeal your assessment when the assessment roll is open.
Please contact the Town Office if you are unsure of your payment amount or to clear up any tax arrears.