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By Altus Group | April 13, 2021

Stay up-to-date with deadlines, developments, property assessment and taxation management for your assets in Manitoba.

Request for 2020 Income & Expense Information – Winnipeg

The City Assessor sent requests for 2020 income, expense & rent roll information on Thursday, April 15 for Winnipeg properties. Taxpayers have only 21 days to reply to the Assessor’s request.

The Assessor for the City of Winnipeg recently sent out requests for 2020 income and expense information to owners of commercial, industrial and multi-family properties, including a new Supplemental Questionnaire relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Assessor’s cover letter states that the requests are for the operating statements ending in 2020, or with year-end dates closest to April 1, 2021. The valuation date for the new 2023/2024 assessments is April 1, 2021.

It is imperative that Winnipeg taxpayers to respond fully to the Assessor’s request for 2020 information, since non-compliance with the requests can lead to penalties being applied under the legislation. The most serious penalty is a delay of any reduction ordered by the Boards in connection with a 2023 appeal for one full year, resulting in a forfeiture of one full year of tax savings.

In addition to meeting legislative requirements, it will be crucial to demonstrate the effects of the pandemic on your property operations in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. We encourage you to supplement the financial and rent roll information with any other information that you wish to include that further illustrates the negative impact of the pandemic on your operations, including any information that was known as of April 1, 2021 that may impact the property in the future (e.g. demonstrated uncertainty surrounding a tenant’s ability to continue to operate, further measures that would need to be taken at the property as more tenants return to pre-pandemic occupancy, etc.).

The requests for 2020 information also contain a Supplemental Questionnaire relating to the pandemic. Some of the questions require a judgement to be made by the taxpayer, such as whether the impact of the pandemic to the property is “minor”, “moderate”, or “significant” (question 1 of the Supplemental).  Some of the questions may relate to information that is still evolving, such as measures taken in the building that increased expenses in 2020 but which are expected to change further in 2021.  To the extent that information relating to the operation of the property and the impacts of the pandemic on the tenancies in the building is available (e.g. deferrals or abatements of rent, elevated rental arrears, vacancies, etc.), it would be prudent to report this information to the Assessor.

It was clear by April 1, 2021 (the valuation date for the new 2023 assessments) that the pandemic was far from over, with increasing talk of a “third wave” either underway or about to happen. Given the inherent uncertainty as to the future effects of the pandemic at that date, taxpayers may wish to include a statement to that effect in their replies:

The attached response to your request represents all of the information that is in our possession and control at this time.  However, the full impact of the pandemic is not known at this time and was not known as of April 1, 2021, so the information submitted may not reflect the complete impact of the pandemic on our property operations in future.

The stated deadline to submit the 2020 information is May 6, 2021.  The Assessor has granted extensions for submitting replies in past years, but the request must be made in writing and must reference the property(ies) for which the extension to file a reply is being sought.

If you are unable to prepare and submit your reply by May 6, 2021, we strongly recommend that you write to the Assessor now and request an extension to prepare and file the requested information.

Requests for extensions should be submitted to the Assessor via the email address 311@winnipeg.ca.  The email should reference the property address and roll number for which the extension is being requested and should be sent Attention: City of Winnipeg Property Assessment and Taxation Department.

Education Property Tax Credit Announced by the Province

The Rebate program will result in an average property tax reduction of 12.9% for residential properties and 6.4% for other properties in 2021

As part of the 2021 budget, the Province just introduced the Education Property Tax Rebate that had been previously announced by Premier Pallister.

The main features of the Rebate are:

  • No application will be required. Rather, the Rebate will be sent by cheque directly to taxpayers in the month that property taxes are due. Property owners will continue to pay the education taxes as levied on the property tax statement
  • Residential and farm properties will receive a 25% rebate of the school division special levy payable in 2021. Existing credits (e.g. the Education Property Tax Credit and Advance, Farmland School Tax Rebate and existing seniors property tax credits) will be reduced by 25%
  • Other properties (commercial, industrial, institutional and other non-residential properties) will receive a rebate of 10% of the total of both the school division special levy and the education support levy payable in 2021
  • School division levies will continue to apply until the tax is eliminated

Winnipeg 2021 Mill Rates Established

No change from 2021

The 2021 mill rates have been set for properties within the City of Winnipeg and the total rates have changed very little from what they were in 2020. Although the municipal levy has increased 2.3% for 2021, reductions in the Education Support Levy and School Division Special levies have largely offset this increase. The total changes in the 2021 mill rates for Winnipeg properties range from a reduction of 1.1% to an increase of 1.0%.

Winnipeg 2022 Realty Assessment Appeal Deadline

Deadline: June 29, 2021

The deadline for filing appeals of the 2022 realty assessments for properties in the City of Winnipeg is June 29, 2021. The provincial government passed a regulatory amendment last summer that extended the present assessment cycle by one full year, to 2022. As a result of this amendment, the 2022 assessed values are based upon the same valuation date of April 1, 2018 as was in place for the 2020 and 2021 assessments, but based upon the physical condition of the asset on January 1, 2022.

Will I receive a notice of assessment??

Unless the information on the roll has changed since last year, taxpayers will not receive a notice of assessment for 2022. However, an appeal of the 2022 assessment may be filed even in the absence of any changes affecting the property, and even if an appeal was previously filed for 2020 and/or 2021.

Next steps

A thorough review of all 2022 assessed values should be completed prior to the appeal deadline to ensure that the assessed values are fair and equitable. Altus Group will be reviewing the 2022 assessments of our clients’ properties to confirm that the assessments are fair, and file any appeals that may be warranted based upon updated property information, recent Board decisions, etc.

Have questions about your assessed value?

Reach out to your Altus Group representative or one of our contacts below.

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