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Filing an Assessment Complaint

60 Day Customer Review Period
You have a 60 day review period between mailing of your assessment notice and the date complaints are due, (outlined on your assessment notice) to review your assessment.  Complaints must be filed during this time period. 
 
What can I do if I disagree with my property assessment?
  1. You should review your assessment in comparison to what your property would likely have sold for on July 1 of the previous year. If that number is close to your assessment, then likely the assessment is fair. If you think the assessment is too high, arrange for a meeting with the assessor by contacting the Assessment and Taxation Department or at 403 320 3950.
  2. Get a second opinion, in writing, from an appraiser or realtor who has knowledge with Lethbridge market values.

It is important to talk to your assessor before filing a complaint.  Contact the Assessment and Taxation Department or at 403 320 3950.  If the assessment is in error, it can be amended during the 60 day Customer Review Period. 

 If you don’t reach a resolution using the above process, you may file an assessment complaint.
 
Note: Corrections to an assessment can only be made within 60 days from the mailing of the notice.
 
What can I file a complaint about?
 
Your complaint may be about any of the following matters, as shown on an assessment notice:
  •  An assessment
  • An assessment class
  • An assessment sub-class
  • The type of property
  • The type of improvement
  • Whether the property or business is assessable
  • Whether the property or business is exempt from taxation under Part 10 of the Municipal Government Act
  • School support*
  • The description of a property or business*
  • The name and mailing address of an assessed person or taxpayer*
*to eliminate the need for you to file a complaint and attend a board hearing, corrections to these matters can be made by contacting  the Assessment and Taxation Department or at 403 320 3950.
 
You do not have the right to make a complaint about any tax rate or past assessment years.
 
How do I file a complaint?
 
Provincial Legislation and City Bylaws outline how complaints must be made
  • Your complaint must be submitted on the “Assessment Review Board Complaint Form” and the form must be completed in full
  • You must be the assessed owner. An Agent may file a complaint on your behalf if you, the assessed owner, complete an "Agent Authorization” form
  • Your complaint must explain why you think the information or assessed value shown on your Assessment Notice or Tax Notice is incorrect
  • You must include the correct information. If you disagree with the assessed value, you must include what you believe is the assessed value
  • The complaint form and required fee, payable to the City of Lethbridge, (see Assessment Review Bylaw) must be received together by the Assessment Review Board office no later than 4:30 pm on the deadline date indicated on your assessment notice.  Late complaints are not valid and will not be heard.  Electronic mail and faxed complaints will not be accepted. This time limit is legislated and cannot be extended
Filing fees are charged per roll number for the filing of complaints to the Assessment Review Board.
 
The filing fee will only be refunded when there is a change made to the issue under complaint.  The refund will be issued to the name of the applicant or company that filed the initial complaint. 
 
Attach a copy of the Assessment Notice to facilitate the process and ensure accuracy.
 
Mail or Deliver the Complaint form and required fee to:
 
Assessment Review Board Coordinator
910 4 Avenue South
2nd floor - City Hall
Lethbridge, AB  T1J 0P6
 
Where can I get a Complaint Form?
 
Additional complaint forms and publications are available for the taxpayer on the Government of Alberta Municipal Affairs website.
 
Tax Agents?
 
An agent may not file a complaint or act for an assessed person or taxpayer at a hearing unless the assessed person or taxpayer has prepared and filed with the clerk or administrator an Assessment Complaints Agent Authorization Form
 
Filing Fee?
 
Your filing fee is indicated on your Assessment Notice.  Filing fee and complaint form must accompany each other. 
 
If a complainant withdraws their complaint on agreement with the Assessor, the complainant must notify the Assessment Review Board (ARB) Clerk of their intention to withdraw by completing the Withdrawal Form.   Notice of withdrawal must be received three (3) business days prior to the hearing date in order for the ARB Clerk to refund complaint fees. 
 
Deadline for filing a complaint?
 
The final date for a complaint is indicated on the Assessment Notice:  60 days from the mailing of the notice.
 
This time limit is legislated and cannot be extended.
 
The complaint form and required fee, payable to the City of Lethbridge, (see Assessment Review Board Bylaw) must be received together by the Assessment Review Board office no later than 4:30 pm on the deadline date indicated on your assessment notice.  Late complaints are not valid and will not be heard.  Electronic mail and faxed complaints will not be accepted.
 
Mail or Deliver the Complaint form and required fee to:
 
Assessment Review Board Clerk
910 4 Avenue South
2nd floor - City Hall
Lethbridge, AB  T1J 0P6
 
If you are in the process of working with the assessment department regarding your assessment the Complaint Form and required fee must still be submitted. The appeal can be withdrawn by filling out the Withdrawal Form if a decision is made prior to the hearing date.
 
What is the relationship between “tax” and “assessment”?
 
Too often, the terms “assessment” and “taxation” are considered to be interchangeable.  However, assessment and taxation are very different.  Although one impacts the other, each is a distinct and independent process. 
 
Assessment is the process of placing a dollar value on a property for taxation purposes.  This value is used to calculate the taxes charged to the owner of the property. 
 
Taxation is the process of applying a tax rate to a property’s assessed value to determine the taxes payable by the owner of the property.  That being said, you cannot file a complaint about your taxes, only your assessment. 
 
For information regarding your assessment, please contact the Assessment and Taxation Department or at 403 320 3950.
 
Contact Information:
Wendy Smith, ARB Clerk
Telephone: 403 320 3030