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Assessment Review Board (ARB)

  
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​The Assessment Review Board is a quasi-judicial body established under the Alberta Municipal Government Act for the purpose of hearing complaints against local property assessments. These complaints are received by the ARB Clerk. Board members are appointed by City of Lethbridge Council.

  

The Assessment Review Board will hear complaints (appeals) relating to:

  • Property Assessments
    • Composite Assessment Review Board (CARB)
      • Multi-Family (4 units or more)
      • Non-Residential (Commercial) properties
    • Local Assessment Review Board (LARB)
      • Single Family Residential
      • Farmland
  • Business Improvement Area
  • Local Improvement Taxes
  

​Legislation governing the Assessment Review Board is contained in the revised Part 11 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), Alberta Regulation 201/2017 – Matters Relating to Assessment Complaints Regulation, 2018Alberta Regulation 203/3027 - Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation, 2018 which legislates the procedures that complainants must adhere to after a complaint has been filed. Failure to comply with legislation and related City Bylaw may result in your complaint being deemed invalid.

  

Assessment Review Board Clerk

2nd floor, City Hall
City Clerk's Office
910 4 Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB   T1J 0P6

wendy.smith@lethbridge.ca

Reviewing your Tax Assessment Notice

  
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You have 60 days between mailing of the Assessment Notice and the date complaints are due (outlined on your assessment notice).

Review your assessment in comparison to what your property would have likely sold for as of 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 to meet with the assessor by contacting assessment@lethbridge.ca
  • Get a second opinion, in writing, from an appraiser or realtor who has knowledge of Lethbridge market values
  

Any person whose name appears on the Assessment Roll may file a complaint

Or

A Tax Agent may file a complaint on your behalf if an Agent Authorization Form is completed and included with your complaint

  

You may file an assessment complaint if you disagree with the assessed value of your property determined by the City of Lethbridge. 

Before filing a complaint, please discuss your concerns with a City Assessor by contacting assessment@lethbridge.ca.  

If you are still not satisfied, you have the right to file a formal complaint form with the ARB Clerk in person or by mail.

The Assessment Complaint Process

1. Filing an assessment complaint

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​You can download the forms below or pick up paper copies from the ARB Office (City Clerk's Office) on the second floor at City Hall.

If you hire someone to represent you during the appeal process such as a tax agent or lawyer, the form below must be filed with the ARB Clerk:

If you decide to withdraw your complaint, you must notify the ARB Clerk of your intention to withdraw by completing the form below:

Notice of withdrawal must be received three (3) business days prior to the hearing date in order to receive a refund on your complaint fees.   

  

Your completed Complaint Form(s) and required fee must be received by the ARB Clerk no later than 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date indicated on the front of the Assessment Notice.

You have 60 days to review your assessment.  All complaints must be filed during this time period. See your assessment Notice for deadline dates.

If filing your complaint by mail, please allow time for delivery.

  

​The complaint will be deemed invalid if received late. Complaints must be processed on or before the "Final Complaint Date" as indicated on the front of the assessment notice.

The ARB has no jurisdiction to extend a complaint deadline for any reason.

If filing your complaint by mail, please allow time for delivery.

  
  • Completed Complaint Form
  • Copy of the Assessment Notice
  • Filing fee
  • Agent Authorization Form (if applicable)
  • State what information you believe is incorrect and why
  • State what you believe the correct information should be
  • Requested assessment value
  • All contact information (roll number, name, address, phone, email)

If you fail to meet any of the legislated requirements for submitting a complaint to the ARB, your complaint will be deemed invalid and rejected by the Board.

  

​Yes, you must file a separate complaint form and pay the required fee for each assessment in dispute.

  

You can hire someone to represent you during the appeal process such as a tax agent or lawyer.

A tax agent/lawyer may not file a complaint or act for the assessed person during the appeal process unless the person/taxpayer has filed an Agent Authorization Form with the ARB Clerk.

  

​Yes, to avoid penalties for the non-payment of taxes, you must pay by the due date. Penalties are applied against unpaid accounts in accordance with municipal bylaws and are not waived due to the filing of a complaint.          

  
  • Single Family - $50.00
  • Vacant Residential - $50.00
  • Non-residential/Commercial - $650.00
  • Residential 4 or more dwellings - $650.00
  • Business Improvement - $50.00

Filing fees are also listed on the back of the Assessment Notice.
Fees must be paid in full when filing a complaint to the Assessment Review Board, or the complaint will be deemed invalid.

  
  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Debit

Credit card payments are not accepted.

  

All complaints must be made through the ARB Clerk. 

An Assessment Review Board Complaint Form must be completed in full.

The ARB will not hear any matters or reasons that are not clearly described on the Complaint Form.

A separate Complaint Form and fee is required for each assessment in dispute.

Incomplete complaint forms, complaints submitted after the deadline or complaints without the required filing fee will be deemed invalid.

  

​Deliver or mail your completed complaint form(s) and filing fee(s) to:

Assessment Review Board Clerk
2nd floor, City Clerk's Office
910 4 Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB   T1J 0P6

Completed complaint forms must be received by the ARB Clerk no later than 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date indicated on the front of your Assessment Notice.

Your complaint will not be filed unless the required fee is attached.

If filing your complaint by mail, please allow time for delivery.

Cash, cheque or debit are accepted. Credit card payments are not accepted.

 
   
    

 
   2. Preparing for your hearing

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There are two types of Assessment Review Boards. After the complaint has been filed, the ARB clerk will determine which Board will hear the complaint.

  • Composite Assessment Review Board (CARB)
    • Non-residential property (Commercial/Industrial)
    • Multi-Family (4 units or more)
  • Local Assessment Review Board (LARB)
    • Single Family Residential
    • Farmland
    • Business Improvement Area
    • Local Improvement Taxes
  

A Notice of Hearing letter will be emailed/mailed to you which will include:

  • Date and time of hearing
  • Evidence disclosure deadlines

Please read your entire Notice of Hearing letter for important information regarding your hearing.

  

Any or all of the following:

  • Relevant information to support your complaint
  • Documents you will be using at the hearing
  • Written summary of oral testimony
  • Information or written arguments you intend to rely on at the hearing
  • A list of witnesses who will give evidence at the hearing (if applicable)
  • A signed witness report for each witness

You will need enough evidence to prove that your assessment is not a fair estimate.

NOTE: You are required to provide six (6) hard copies of any written evidence/information.

The board will not hear evidence that had not been properly disclosed.

  

The Government of Alberta, Municipal Affairs, publishes the following brochures: 

  

Your Notice of Hearing letter shows the deadlines dates for disclosure.

If filing your disclosure by mail, please allow time for delivery.

All evidence must be provided by the deadline dates.  No new evidence can be introduced after the deadline dates.   

Please read your entire Notice of Hearing letter for important information regarding your hearing.

  

​Yes, six (6) hard copies of any written evidence/information must be provided to the ARB Clerk.

  

Deliver your evidence in person, by mail or electronically to:

Assessment Review Board Clerk
2nd floor, City Clerk's Office
910 4 Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB   T1J 0P6
wendy.smith@lethbridge.ca

NOTE:  If submitting electronically – six (6) hard copies of any written evidence/information must be delivered to the ARB office within three (3) business days.

Deadline dates are included in the Notice of Hearing Letter.

  

​The Board must disregard any evidence not disclosed when making a final decision. Disclosure is part of the openness and fairness policies the board follows. It is helpful to everyone involved to review the other parties' evidence to better prepare for the hearing.

  

​Yes, property owners may file multiple complaints and request them to be heard together as a group.

  

​Postponements will only be granted for exceptional circumstances and must be requested in writing (not verbally or by phone) to the ARB office well in advance of the scheduled hearing.

Postponement requests submitted on disclosure deadline dates or on the hearing day (or within a close timeframe) will not be granted.

  

​To withdraw your complaint the Withdrawal of a Complaint Form must be completed and submitted to the ARB Clerk as soon as possible.

The withdrawal of complaint must be received at least three (3) business days prior to your hearing date in order for the ARB Clerk to refund complaint fees.

"If a complainant withdraws their complaint on agreement with the Assessor, the complainant must notify the 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." – As stated on your Receipt of Payment

 
 
     

 
    3. Day of Hearing

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You are encouraged to attend as your complaint can be stronger if you are present.  However, if you do not attend, the hearing will still take place.  All disclosed evidence will be read by the board on your behalf. 

or

You may hire someone to represent you (ex. a tax agent/lawyer) or you may bring a friend or family member to assist you. If you have someone appearing on your behalf, an Agent Authorization Form is required.

  

​Postponements will only be granted for exceptional circumstances and must be requested in writing (not verbally or by phone) to the ARB office well in advance of the scheduled hearing. Requests when the disclosure is due or on the hearing day (or within a close timeframe) will not be granted.

  

​If you withdraw your complaint the "Withdrawal of a Complaint" form must be completed and submitted to the ARB Clerk as soon as possible.

The withdrawal of complaint must be received at least three (3) business days prior to the hearing date in order to have your fees returned. 

"If a complainant withdraws their complaint on agreement with the Assessor, the complainant must notify the 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." As stated on your Receipt of Payment

  

​Yes, in the following instances:

  • If the assessment review board makes a decision in favour of the complainant
  • All issues under complaint are corrected by agreement between the complainant the assessor
  • The complaint is withdrawn prior to the hearing
 
 
     

  
Accordion Answer
  

A decision will be made within 30 days from your CARB/LARB Hearing date and a written decision will be emailed/mailed to you.

The board will base its decision on the evidence presented by the Complainant and the Respondent at the hearing.

If you are successful in your appeal, your assessment complaint fee will be refunded.

  

​Both the Complainant and Respondent have the right to apply to the Court of Queen's Bench for judicial review of the ARB decision. An application must be filed with the Court of Queen's Bench within 60 days after the date of the decision of the ARB. Judicial reviews of the Board's decisions are governed by section 470 of the Municipal Government Act.

You cannot appeal the decision of an ARB simply because you do not agree with the decision.  An appeal can only be made if you believe that the board made an error on a question of law or jurisdiction.  

If you are considering an application to the Court of Queen's Bench, it is recommended that you consult legal counsel.  The ARB is not able to offer any advice, suggestions or guidance. 



Where can I find more Information?

Regulations, Acts, Bylaw, and Websites

 

 

Contact Information:
Assessment Review Board Clerk
2nd floor, City Clerk's Office
910 4 Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB   T1J 0P6
wendy.smith@lethbridge.ca

 
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