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Municipal boards and tribunals - Jurisdiction - Finances - Tax assessment - Practice and procedure

Thursday, September 08, 2016 @ 8:00 PM  

Application by Aquila Holdings and 101211085 Saskatchewan for leave to appeal a decision by the Assessment Appeals Committee of the Saskatchewan Municipal Board. The applicants claimed legal interests in a parcel of land that had been the subject of a reduced tax agreement with the Rural Municipality of Edenwold. The Municipality stopped honouring the tax exemption agreement on the basis of a change of ownership. The Board of Revision refused to hear the applicants’ appeal due to a late filing. On further appeal, the Committee held that the appeal to the Board was brought within time, but that there was no authority to consider the validity and legality of the agreement in question, or the validity and legality of the Municipality’s cancelation decision. The Committee further found there was no authority to require the Municipality to provide an agreement that was entirely within its Council’s discretion. The applicants sought leave to appeal on the basis the Committee’s findings resulted from errors in law and jurisdiction.

HELD: Application allowed. The questions of jurisdiction raised by the proposed grounds of appeal met the criteria of sufficient merit and importance. The applicants were granted leave to appeal on three issues. The first ground was whether the Committee erred in concluding it lacked authority to determine whether the subject property was tax exempt. The second ground was whether the Committee erred in finding its powers to correct assessed taxes on exempt property were limited to exemption by statutory means as opposed to agreement. The third ground was whether the Committee erred in declining to exercise its jurisdiction to enforce the tax exemption sought by the applicants. The Municipality did not require leave to put forward the grounds upon which it contended the Committee’s result should be sustained.