April 3, 2020
On March 20, 2020, the Government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order (O.Reg. 73/20) under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Please see the memo for further information regarding timelines and processes.
The deadline to file assessment appeals is March 31, 2020. Please file your appeal using e-file. If you are unable to meet the March 31 deadline, you will be permitted to file your appeal within 15 days after the Order has been lifted.
All counter services are closed until further notice.
The ARB continues to hold hearings by teleconference or in writing. If you experience technical difficulties with the teleconference lines, please continue to try as the system may be temporarily busy.
March 26, 2020
On March 20, 2020, the Government of Ontario issued an Emergency Order (O.Reg. 73/20) under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
The order suspends limitation periods and procedural time periods relevant to tribunal proceedings. The suspension is retroactive to March 16, 2020.
If current and / or new parties are not able to meet a timeline, Tribunals Ontario will allow them to do so at a later date. For example, if parties are not able to meet the timeline for submitting an application to a tribunal, they will be able to submit it at a later date.
Tribunals Ontario is continuing to deliver service across the province. Most tribunals are continuing to have hearings, mediations, and case conferences by teleconference or in writing, while some tribunals are rescheduling matters to later dates.
If you are not able to proceed with a matter, please contact the tribunal to reschedule. If you are not able to attend a proceeding by teleconference or in writing, the tribunal will be able to reschedule the matter to another date.
COVID-19 Policy – Postponing Hearings
March 13, 2020
Effective March 13, 2020, Tribunals Ontario is implementing a new policy to postpone in-person hearings and reschedule to a later date. Where feasible, alternative hearing options such as written and telephone hearings will be considered to minimize disruption to hearings across the organization. In addition, all front-line counter services will be closed as of March 16 until further notice.
For more information, please see the news release.
The Assessment Review Board (ARB) is an independent adjudicative tribunal established under the Assessment Act, with a mandate to hear appeals about property assessment and classification. The ARB receives appeals on property assessments and property taxes. Hearings are scheduled across the province, usually in the municipality where the property is located. At the hearing, all parties have the opportunity to present evidence and make arguments. The ARB hears these appeals and makes decisions based on the applicable law and the evidence presented at the hearing.
The provincial government, through the Ministry of Finance, sets the laws regarding property assessment. Municipalities are responsible for setting tax rates and collecting property taxes. The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) assesses and classifies all properties in Ontario. If there is a dispute between a property owner and MPAC, the property owner can file an appeal with the ARB.
History of ARB
Property assessments have been conducted in what is now Ontario since 1793. In 1970, the province assumed the role of assessing property from municipalities and replaced the Courts of Revision with the Assessment Review Court (ARC). ARC was renamed the Assessment Review Board in 1983.
With the enactment of the Fair Municipal Finance Act, the ARB became the province’s sole adjudicative tribunal for property assessment appeals. The legislation reduced duplication and ensured that the ARB was the final tribunal of appeal for such appeals. Prior to 1998, ARB decisions could be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). In 1998, an amendment to the Assessment Review Board Act gave the ARB the capacity to dismiss frivolous appeals.
Decisions by the ARB are final and binding, subject only to appeal to Divisional Court on questions of law when the Court grants leave to appeal. The ARB also exercises the power to review its decisions.
Beginning with the 2009 tax year, changes to the Assessment Act require owners of residential, farm and conservation lands, and managed forests to file a request for reconsideration with MPAC, and/or the Program Administrator (for farm, managed forest or conservation land), before they may file an appeal with the ARB.
The ARB’s jurisdiction and its authority are defined by the Assessment Review Board Act, the Assessment Act, the Municipal Act, the City of Toronto Act, the Provincial Land Tax Act, the Education Act and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.