This overview is to provide parties appearing before the ARB with information on the requirements of the ARB as set out in the ARB’s enabling legislation. The procedures and summaries provided are intended to supplement the legislation and to provide a lay person overview of the legislative requirements and should not be construed as legal advice. In this overview, where any procedure is in conflict with the legislation, the legislation takes precedence.
The Calgary ARB is an independent tribunal whose jurisdiction flows from the Municipal Government Act. The ARB has a duty to act fairly and observe the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness. These principles include the right to a public hearing, a duty to be fair, the right for all affected parties to be heard, the right to an adjournment if the Board determines it is merited, and the right to legal counsel, etc.
Establishment and Function of the ARB
The ARB is a quasi-judicial tribunal established in accordance with section 454 of the Municipal Government Act R.S.A. 2000, c. M-26 of the Province of Alberta, Bylaw 15M2018, and Bylaw 44M2019, as amended, being a Bylaw of The City of Calgary to establish an Assessment Review Board.
The function of the ARB is laid out in Part 11 of the Municipal Government Act, in conjunction with Alberta Regulation 201/2017 – Matters Relating to Assessment Complaints Regulation (MRAC), which details some of the procedures that complainants must adhere to after a complaint has been filed.
In addition the Government of Alberta enacted the City of Calgary Charter, 2018 Alberta Regulation 40/2018. The Charter updates various sections of the MGA that pertain to the Assessment Review Board.
Failure to comply with the legislation and related City Bylaws may result in your complaint being invalid.
Copies of the above noted Provincial publications are available from Alberta Queen's Printer.
All complaints submitted to the ARB will be heard by a panel of board members. There are two types of assessment review board panels that hear complaints depending on the type of property:
Local Assessment Review Board (LARB) panel
The LARB panel members are appointed by City Council to hear assessment complaints about farmland, residential property with up to three dwelling units, business assessment complaints, and local improvements..
Composite Assessment Review Board (CARB) panel
The CARB panel has at least two members appointed by City Council and one member is appointed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs. This panel hears complaints about residential property with four or more dwelling units, non-residential property, and brownfield property exemptions and deferrals, as determined by the Assessment Business Unit.
Decisions of ARBs
In determining a complaint the ARB is bound by section 467 of the Municipal Government Act. The ARB has the authority to make the following decisions:
- Dismiss the complaint if it was not made within the proper time.
- Dismiss the complaint if the complainant has not explained why they think the information in the assessment or tax notice is incorrect or unfair.
- Change the assessed value.
- Decide that no change is required.
The City of Calgary Charter, 2018 Alberta Regulation 40/2018 expands section 467(1) by adding subsection (1.1) For greater certainty, the power to make a change under subsection (1) includes the power to increase or decrease an assessed value shown on an assessment roll or tax roll.
The ARB is required to issue a written decision, together with reasons for the decision, including any dissenting reasons, within 30 days of concluding the hearing, or before the end of the taxation year, whichever comes first. MRAC section 13(1) specifies what must be contained in the written decision.