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FINANCE - Taxation - Real or immovable property assessment - Classes

Friday, May 28, 2021 @ 6:27 AM  

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Appeal by Freeborne Developments from a decision of the Assessment Appeals Committee of the Saskatchewan Municipal Board. The appellant’s land was comprised of three contiguous properties totalling 367 acres. When the appellant purchased the land in 2007 it was agricultural land. In 2011, the appellant successfully applied to have the land rezoned to rural industrial park, but the development of an industrial park never materialized. The appellant continued to use the land as agricultural land. In 2017, the land was rezoned again to light industrial district. An assessor determined the land should be classified as “Commercial and Industrial” for the purpose of property tax assessment. The Board of Revision allowed the appellant’s appeal and determined the land was properly classified as “Other Agricultural”. The Committee allowed the respondent Rural Municipality’s appeal. It found the Board misinterpreted the Municipalities Regulations and determined the land was properly classified as “Commercial and Industrial”.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The Committee correctly identified the errors in the Board’s decision, including misquoting s. 39(b) of the Regulations and failing to consider s. 39(f). It correctly identified the way s. 39 of the Regulations should have been applied. It correctly determined that proper classification of the land required consideration of the future state of the property as opposed to permitting the current use to be determinative. It correctly identified the factual matrix in which to apply s. 39 and determined the proper classification of the land. The Committee properly treated the zoning of the land as a relevant but not determinative consideration. The Committee was correct to overturn the Board’s decision and reinstate the assessor’s original classification.

Freeborne Developments Ltd. v. Corman Park (Rural Municipality), [2021] S.J. No. 138, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, G.R. Jackson, J.A. Tholl and J.D. Kalmakoff JJ.A., March 30, 2021. Digest No. TLD-May242021007