Assessment

What is Assessment?
An assessment is the act of determining a property’s value.

What is the relationship between property assessment and taxes?
The key difference is that assessment – determining assessment values for all properties – is SAMA’s responsibility while the task of setting property taxes belongs to municipal governments.

The relationship between assessment and taxes comes from the fact that municipal governments levy taxes as a “mill rate” that is charged as a proportion of a property’s assessment value.

Why did the value of my property change?
One of two things may have occurred:
1 – The real estate market may have changed.  Market forces are the usual cause of a change in assessments.  These changing market forces are seen every four years when SAMA does a “revaluation” that updates assessments using a new base year.
2 – A property may also have been changed.  For example, the buildings may have been upgraded.  This change in physical data can happen at any time.

Why is it that my assessment value may not match what I just paid for a property, or what another appraiser said my property is worth?
To create an equitable system, SAMA determines assessments that reflect long-term values, and avoid short-term market fluctuations.  The selling price for any individual property is always subject to short-term, local market conditions, and to the negotiations of each buyer and seller

As for fee appraisers, they also focus on immediate, actual, local market conditions, not on long-term fair value.  Even their assessments, however, may not be the same as what an individual buyer and seller may agree upon when selling a property.

What happens if I disagree with my property’s assessed value?
There is an appeal process you can follow.  Please contact your local municipal office or SAMA regional office for more information.

I’m not sure if I should appeal.  How can I find out if the assessment of my property is accurate?
First, contact your local municipal office and ask if an assessment open house or information meeting has been scheduled.  You can also contact your SAMA regional office and they would be happy to discuss the methods used to arrive at the value of you property.

Who decides how assessments are done?
The policies, procedures and standards for assessment are determined by SAMA, and must be followed by all Saskatchewan municipalities.  This job is mandated to SAMA by provincial legislation titled “The Assessment Management Agency Act”

Who conducts assessments?
Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA) conducts all assessments of properties in the Town of Birch Hills, including all assessment maintenance, revaluations and reinspection work.

What is a “base date”?
The base date is the year on which property assessments are determined.  for that reason, revaluations are done every four years so that assessed values remain as up-to-date as possible.

The current revaluation was implemented in 2013, and is based on 2011 market conditions.

When is the next revaluation?
The next revaluation will be completed in 2017.

Taxation

What is the Town’s taxation year?
The taxation year is the Town’s fiscal year which is the same as the calendar year, January 1 to December 31, with the property taxes due June 30th of each year.

What is the tax incentives for early or late payments?
There is a 5% discount on any portion of taxes paid before June 30th of each year.
There is a 1% penalty on any unpaid current year taxes on the first of each month beginning August 1st to December 1st.
Any unpaid taxes as of December 31st is deemed arrears and a 10% penalty will be added January 1st of the following year.

How can I pay my taxes?
•  At the Town Office (126 McCallum Avenue) – Pay by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card.
•  Online banking with your financial institution using your Roll Number to add a bill payee.  Please allow 2-4 business days for bank or internet payments to be received at the office.
•  Preauthorized Debit – complete a PAD Agreement Form to have your payments debited from your account.
•  Your mortgage financial institution – If you include tax payments with your mortgage payments, your financial institution will accumulate your payments and pay your tax bill in June.  Contact your mortgage financial institution for more details.

What is the Current Year Tax Rates?
2016 Municipal Mill Rate is 11.0
Mill Rate Factor is 1.0 for Residential and 2.1 for Commercial
Minimum Tax is $400.00 for Land and $995.00 for Improvements

Please click for previous years mill rates, mill rate factors, and taxable assessments.