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Property Tax


PAMS® Property Tax Manager


Over the past four decades our Property Tax Division has worked hard to minimise our clients' tax load, carefully trimming their strategy to meet the shifting policies of the various Provincial Assessment Departments. In 1999 it became apparent that bolder action was required: nothing short of a sea change in the way we delivered our property tax services would suffice. In July 2001, after two years of preparation and investment we launched the Property Tax Manager component of our PAMS® services delivery model.

Taxing Trends

There is a very definite trend in Atlantic Canada and Ontario to curtail property tax appeals. In order to achieve this goal, provincial governments have:

  1. Reduced the length of the appeal period; to just seven days in some cases.

  2. Restricted the right to appeal on "technical" grounds: often refusing to allow appeals if the Income and Expense Questionnaires are returned a day late, or are improperly completed.

  3. Been more reluctant to negotiate assessment appeals during the official appeal period in jurisdictions such as Nova Scotia that publish a "pre-roll".

  4. Introduced charges for filing the appeal or for obtaining copies of the assessment records.


PAMS® Property Tax Manager

We live in an era of rapid change and increased specialization. Real estate is not the primary focus for most types of business, and asset management is rarely the sole responsibility of one individual ... and everybody is now "time stressed". Our Property Tax Division is staffed by experts who focus only on Property Tax appeals. PAMS® Property Tax Manager is designed to:

  1. Eliminate the risk of the property owner missing Assessment Appeal or Income and Expense Questionnaire filing dates.

  2. Provide the property owner with expert assistance automatically when, and only when, it is required.

  3. Keep the property owner fully informed on the progress of all appeals via their own password protected Client Area on our web site.

  4. Deliver the service at a lower cost than the property owner can provide it themselves.


Integration with Our Client's Operations

Once the property is enrolled in our PAMS® Property Tax Manager program we notify the relevant Provincial or Municipal Assessment Department. As soon as the new Assessment Notices are published they send copies direct to our Property Tax Division; most are in electronic format so we receive them before the property owner.

The experts in our Property Tax Division review the Assessment Notices, determine which properties are over-assessed and file the Appeal Notices. They handle the assessment negotiations and the Local Assessment Appeal Court appearance. They are responsible for ensuring the various appeals are filed on time.

In consultation with the property owner, we can also complete and file the property Income and Expense Questionnaire or, if the client prefers, will review the completed form to ensure that it minimises their eventual tax liability.

All activity on each of the client's assessments is posted to their secure Client Area on this web site ... so a complete status report is just a mouse click away. In addition our client receives an e-mail on each activity as it is posted to their Client Area. If they wish, the property owner can provide input at anytime to all assignments, through their Client Area.


Resources

Our Property Tax Division has been conducting assessment appeals since 1976. They are salaried professionals, able to draw upon a set of policies and procedures developed during thousands of appeals. In preparation for the launch of PAMS® Property Tax Manager we built Assessment Databases for all four Atlantic Provinces, by asset class, each with a three year history, and integrated them with our 122,000 record Transactional Database. We also commissioned an updated version of our venerable Compuval® database and analytical system so that we can "slice and dice" cross sectionally and longitudinally by asset class and geographic area. It really does put us in the driver's seat: we are able to test assessments for "uniformity" and against the various "market value" benchmarks mandated by the relevant Provincial legislation. We can also test assessment increases against prior years and other, comparable properties.


Lift the Burden: Reduce Costs

Property owners can reduce their administrative burden, cost and risk by enrolling their properties in our PAMS® Property Tax Manager program ... and the tax savings can be substantial. Once the property is enrolled in the program we implement a two pronged approach to, (1) minimise each property tax assessment and then, (2) maintain them at that low level. Our studies have shown that PAMS® protected properties experience lower tax increases than their peers. Take a look at some examples in the Case Studies section of this website.