Alta. caps fees on farm assessment complaints

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Alberta farmers looking to file complaints on the municipal assessments of their farmland properties will be charged filing fees no higher than $50, starting in 2009.

Effective Jan. 1, the province will impose an upper limit on the complaint filing fees that municipal governments can charge.

The $50 maximum filing fee for complaints on farmland property assessments will be the same limit as for single-family residential properties, the province said.

The cap on complaint filing fees for owners of multifamily residential (over three units), non-residential (commercial), and machinery-and equipment-related properties will be set at $650.

The fees allow municipalities to recover the costs of administering assessment review boards and ensure continued access for taxpayers, the province said. But until this cap takes effect, municipalities have had no restrictions on the amounts they may charge to file complaints.

“Taxpayers must be confident that the complaints and appeals system is fair, understandable and efficient,” Danyluk said.

The new fee caps are based on a range of what municipalities currently charge to file property assessment complaints.

The province said it considers the fee cap to be “the first step in streamlining the assessment complaint and appeals system in Alberta.”

The province ran an in-depth review of its assessment complaints and appeals system earlier this year. Municipalities, businesses and residential home owners were asked to provide comments.

“Based on the feedback received, additional reforms and a permanent fee structure are currently under consideration,” the province said.

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