Preparing for your PARP hearing Step-by-Step

As part of our commitment to excellent customer service, we are providing this generic guide to take you step by step through the property assessment complaint process.

Download a PDF of the guide in English here or for versions of this guide in other languages click here.

Evidence

We have created a video to help explain in detail what good evidence would be for a PARP Panel. A Chair of a PARP Panel leads you through a thorough description of what a good evidence package for a PARP hearing would contain. This video is 17 minutes and 46 seconds long.

These guidelines are for residential property owners who wish to have their property assessment reviewed by a Property Assessment Review Panel. The Panels are the first formal level of review for property assessment roll complaints. Learn more about the Panels.

Guidelines:

To see the above steps in a flow chart, please click on this link. This document will open in a printable format.

Note on terms / definitions:
In this guide, click on a highlighted term and its definition will pop up for you. Additionally, the full list of terms is available on the glossary page.


Additional Information/Resources:

Step 1:  Review your Assessment Notice

When you receive your Property Assessment Notice, please check all the details on the front page carefully:

The value on your notice should reflect the value of the land and improvements as of July 1 of the previous year. The notice should also show your property classification and any exemptions that may apply.

 

Step 2:  Discuss your Concerns

If you believe information on your Property Assessment Notice is incorrect, please contact your local BC Assessment office and discuss your concerns with an appraiser. The contact information for your local office is listed on the front of your notice.

An appraiser will be pleased to:

  • discuss your property file
  • explain how the market value was determined
  • refer you to sales of similar properties in your neighbourhood

You may find that your questions can be answered and you do not need to request an independent review.

 

Step 3:  Request a Review

If your concerns are not satisfied, you can request an independent review by the Property Assessment Review Panel. To request a review, you must file a formal complaint by January 31 with your local BC Assessment office. If you have access to the internet, you are encouraged to file your complaint online at bcassessment.ca. Alternatively, you can file your complaint by writing to your local BC Assessment area office at the address shown on the front of your Assessment Notice.

When filing your complaint it must include:

  • your reason for requesting a review
  • the property assessment roll number
  • the property description (address and legal description), as stated on your assessment notice
  • your full name, mailing address, and a contact phone number where you can be reached during the day
  • a statement indicating whether or not you own the property in question; and
  • if you appoint an agent, the agent’s full name and business phone number

Once you have filed your complaint requesting a review, you will receive a Notice of Hearing advising you of the date and place to appear before the Property Assessment Review Panel. You will then need to phone your local BC Assessment office to arrange a specific hearing time. The phone number is listed on the front of your Notice of Hearing.

If you are unable to attend your Property Assessment Review Panel hearing in person, you may appoint a representative or agent to appear on your behalf. Alternatively, you can submit a written statement of evidence for the panel to consider. All evidence presented to a panel either verbally or written is reviewed and considered prior to a panel making its decision. In certain circumstances, with prior approval and arrangement, if the parties are unable to travel to the hearing location, hearings can be conducted by conference call. In some areas of the province hearings are being conducted using the PARP Online Evidence Submission System or POESS, which uses both teleconference and online technology to conduct hearings.

 

Step 4:  Prepare for your Hearing

You should begin to prepare for your Property Assessment Review Panel hearing soon after filing your property assessment complaint (appeal).  You will receive a Notice of Hearing in the mail though it may only arrive five days prior to your hearing date.  To allow yourself sufficient time to prepare a good package of evidence to support your position, you are encouraged to begin preparation early.

You will need to gather and organize information to support your position, as the burden of proof rests with the complainant. In other words, you must prove that the Property Assessment Notice is inaccurate. Therefore, it is important you present the best evidence you can, in a concise and organized manner.

Please bring five copies of any written materials you wish to present: three for the panel members, one for the BC Assessment representative, and one for yourself.

Please see the Sample Evidence Package [PDF] for some examples of good information and sources.

 

Step 5:  Appear at your Hearing

You will receive a Notice of Hearing from BC Assessment that will indicate the day that your hearing has been scheduled for.  You will be asked to call to book a specific time on that day for the hearing.  On the day of your scheduled hearing you may wish to arrive a few minutes early so that you are ready when your hearing is called . The length of a hearing is 30 minutes. For a breakdown of what occurs during that 30 minute timeframe, please click on this link.  Please note that 30 minutes is the total time allotted for the hearing and you will be provided with a portion of that time for your presentation.  Please be on time, as many hearings may be scheduled in a day. However, hearings sometimes run over the allotted time.

Please note, if you filed after the January 31 deadline, or if your complaint contains a substantive error, the panel may declare it invalid and refuse to hear your complaint.

You likely will be asked to present your case first, and then BC Assessment will present its case.

You and the BC Assessment representative will have the opportunity to ask each other questions and call witnesses. The panel may also ask questions.

In regard to valuation, the panel will consider market value only. The fact that you do not intend to sell your property is not relevant for assessment purposes.

Hearings are open to the public.

 

Step 6:  Panel Decisions

After hearing from both parties and asking questions, the panel may retire to a separate room or area to deliberate.

Although the panel usually announces its decision at the end of the hearing, it may defer its decision. However, all decisions must be rendered by March 15. In either case, you will receive a formal decision notice, which BC Assessment is required to mail to you by April 7.

The panel may dismiss the complaint for lack of evidence, change the assessment or information on the Assessment Notice, or decide no change is required.

The panel is not required to provide a written rationale for its decision.

 

Step 7:  Appeal a Panel Decision

If you are not satisfied with the panel’s decision, you can file an appeal with the Property Assessment Appeal Board. The deadline to file an appeal is April 30.

Information about filing an appeal can be found at assessmentappeal.bc.ca,
by e-mailing office@paab.bc.ca, or by calling 604-775-1740 in Metro Vancouver,
or 1-888-775-1740 toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia.

BC Assessment also has the right to appeal panel decisions.

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