Property owners who want to appeal their assessments have been given more time because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The province’s Property Assessment Appeal Board is extending its deadline for appeals this year to June 1 from April 30 — but the extension only applies to appeals were required to be filed by April 30.
“The board is aware the state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect this may have on parties accessing their right of appeal to the board,” said a press release.
In 2018, 3,384 assessment appeals were filed, of which more than 1,200 were withdrawn and another 69 were dismissed. By the end of the year, there were still 1,309 outstanding appeals — more than four times the number that were left over at the end of 2017.
Peter Morris, a commercial real estate lawyer who has written a how-to book on navigating the assessment appeals process, said as many as 20% of all residential property owners should be appealing their assessments, which are distributed every January and are based on average property sales figures from the previous July 1.
Morris said with more than two million properties to evaluate every year, assessors can’t visit each one, so they have to use computer projections, which can be prone to errors and don’t take into account real-world context like views.