Government heard from some stakeholders that the current model of property assessment appeals could be improved at the first level of appeal. Currently, each municipality is responsible for appointing a Board of Revision and secretary, which is the first level of appeal in the existing model.
In order to better assess the current state and potential improvements that could be made to the first level of appeal, the Ministry of Government Relations engaged Praxis Consulting to assist with stakeholder consultation/engagement throughout the summer of 2019. The Assessment Appeal Consultations Final Report is now complete.
The ministry also engaged municipalities directly. Municipal administration received an invitation to participate in two surveys on this topic, one in late 2018 and one in June 2019. Results from the first survey show that some municipalities use a regional model or contract out their local board of revision work, while others appoint a board for only their municipality. Results from the second survey indicate that many of the appeals filed are handled before the hearing using an agreement to adjust. Although most municipal administrators found the current system to be working fine, many hear very few appeals. Others note that training and finding board members is a challenge.
Other stakeholders from the assessment community are concerned with the state of Saskatchewan's assessment appeals system. They see challenges arising from the quality of hearings, lack of a proper record of the hearing and poorly written decisions rendered at the board of revision level.
The ministry continues to consult and explore how best to improve the first level of appeal in Saskatchewan.