Legislative and regulatory changes impacting the assessment and taxation of real property should be implemented only after substantial consultation with private sector representatives of properties affected by the proposed changes.
Assessment of real property should be based on market value, provide fairness, equity, simplicity and predictability, and be economic to administer.
Property assessments should be based on an annual, common valuation date and the actual state and condition of the property as of that date.
Non assessables should include: a) machinery and equipment used for business, production, manufacturing, processing, transportation, transmission and environmental control; b) environmental control facilities; c) personal property, including inventory; and d) intangible business value and goodwill.
Assessment roll data should be readily and publicly accessible, without fee.
Assessment records and supporting information of a property should be readily available to the property owner forthwith, without fee.
All property assessments should be appealable annually, without fee, to an independent expert assessment tribunal, which holds a full, fair and timely hearing of all issues that may arise during the course of the proceeding and renders decisions on a timely basis. Any fees should be fully refunded if assessments are reduced at any level of appeal.
An independent and adequately funded assessment body at arm’s length to local government should implement property assessments. Operational and policy input to and direction of the assessment body must be balanced between representatives of government and the private sector.
Assessment and tax administration at the municipal level should be separated, with a clear delineation between the two responsibilities.
Property tax legislation should not discriminate between the residential and non-residential sectors and provide fairness, equity, simplicity and predictability.
Property owned by federal, provincial and municipal governments or agencies thereof should be assessed in the same manner as that owned by other taxpayers and governments should make payments in lieu of taxes at 100% of the tax rates applied to other taxpayers.
Religious and charitable institutions should be assessed, and any exemption for tax should be subject to provincial or local government control.
Business or occupancy tax is opposed, either as a separate charge or when harmonized with real property tax.
The concept of fees for business permits and licenses is opposed, except to the extent that they are used to meet the costs of necessary inspection and regulation.