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Preparing for your Hearing

Preparing for your Hearing

If you have filed a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) with the Assessor by the legislated deadline of January 31, 2018, you might be wondering "what happens next"?

An appraiser from BC Assessment will attempt to contact you at the phone number(s) you provided to discuss your concerns. If you and BC Assessment come to an agreement, your complaint may be resolved without proceeding to a hearing.

You will receive a Notice of Hearing by mail, which will provide you with your hearing date and the location of the Panel. You may receive the Notice only 5 days prior to the hearing date. Do not wait until you receive your Notice of Hearing to start preparing your evidence.

If you plan to attend a hearing in person or by conference call to have your assessment appeal heard by a Review Panel, you need to call BC Assessment to schedule an appointment time. Please note that appointment times are limited.

You may have selected a preferred type of hearing if you filled out a form (either Online or PDF) to file your Notice of Complaint. Descriptions of each hearing type are below.

In Person

Property Assessment Review Panels (PARPs) may be found at various in-person hearing locations throughout the province. For this type of hearing, you appear in front of the Panel nearest to your property for a 30-minute hearing. A representative from BC Assessment will also be in attendance to present evidence. Both parties typically bring documentary evidence with them for the Panel to consider. The panel listens to the facts and arguments from both paties, deliberates in priavte, and provides the decision verbally to conclude the hearing.

You will receive a Notice of Hearing by mail, which will provide you with your hearing date and the location of the Panel. You may only receive the Notice 5 days prior to the hearing date. Do not wait until you receive your Notice of Hearing to start preparing your evidence/argument.

Your presentation should be concise and address the most important points you want to make. Comparable sales from your area, pictures and maps are typically good evidence. The PARP pages of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing web site provide guidance on preparing for a PARP hearing in this video and sample evidence package.

For a breakdown of how a Panel hearing is conducted, refer to the document "What happens at your PARP Hearing" from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

 

Conference Call with PARP Online Evidence Submission System

 

A conference call hearing is similar to an in person hearing except that parties speak to one another on the telephone and use a website to share documents. The panel listens to facts and arguments from both parties, deliberates in private (by muting their phone) and then gives the decision verbally to conclude the hearing.

After making an appointment for a hearing time, you will be provided with the phone number and an access code for the provincial government teleconferencing system. You can call from any phone at a location convenient to you using the North America toll-free number, which will be provided to you. Dial the phone number and use the access code at the prompt on your scheduled hearing date and time.

You will also be provided with instructions on using the PARP Online Evidence Submission System (POESS) web site. This is a secure website provided by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing which allows both BC Assessment and the property owner (complainant) to present documents using the internet during the hearing. Upload your documents to the POESS site before your hearing at least the day before to ensure successful upload. The following file types are acceptable:

  • PDF, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, PNG, Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

Do not upload Outlook message files (.msg), as some panel members using Apple devices cannot view them.

During the hearing, all parties call into the teleconferencing system and use a computer with a web browser open to view each other's documents. If you do not ask the panel to open a specific file, they will not necessarily look at all attachments. The panel does not review submissions in advance, so content must be concise and comprehensible within the 30-minute timeframe.

For a breakdown of a Panel hearing is conducted, refer to the Ministry "What happens at your PARP Hearing" document.

Written Submission                              

If you are unable to attend in person or by conference call, you may choose to submit a written presentation which will be given to the Panel for their consideration.

Written submissions can be sent to BC Assessment by email, fax, mail, or hand delivery. You must ensure that your material arrives to the correct office on time. If you send your material the night before or day of your scheduled hearing date, our staff cannot guarantee it will get to the panel for their consideration. Two days in advance of the hearing date stated on your Notice of Hearing is ideal.

BC Assessment staff must print your material and give it to the panel members. Therefore, your submission must be easily photocopied or in an electronic file format that can be opened and printed. The following file formats are acceptable:

  • PDF, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, PNG, Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Do not send web links, as we cannot print web sites.

A written submission should be concise and address the most important points you want to make. It should be no longer than what you could reasonably talk about in approximately 8 minutes as though you were presenting at an in-person or teleconference hearing.

Comparable sales from your area, pictures and maps are typically good evidence. It is wise to also include some written commentary on how the facts you are providing support your view of your property's market value as of July 1 of the previous year. The PARP pages of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing web site provide guidance on what to send or bring to PARP in this video and sample evidence package .

After my Hearing

What happens after my hearing?

Regardless of your hearing type and date, a Decision Notice will arrive by mail no later than April 7, 2018. If you do not receive a Decision Notice by April 7, 2018, please contact BC Assessment to request a copy of your Notice.

PARPs are not required to provide written reasons for their decision. The decision notice will only show the change made by the panel or indicate that no change was made. Your Decision Notice is the only written record you will receive.

Local governments are also provided with all assessment roll changes that occurred through the PARP process. Your local government will have the most up-to-date information on your assessment to calculate your next property tax bill.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your PARP hearing, you can appeal the decision of the PARP to the Property Assessment Appeal Board.