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By Altus Group | October 2, 2020

Negative impacts of the government decrees on the state of emergency on land values

We are going through a period of uncertainty that has a real negative impact on the use of your assets and, in particular on their values. In Quebec, there is a legal provision in the Act Respecting Municipal Taxation that forces the municipal assessor to revise the property value to consider the negative impacts of new legal restrictions. We, at Altus Group, were therefore of the opinion that Government Decree 177-2020 of March 13, 2020 et al. subsequent decrees regarding the state of emergency and sanitary conditions, constituted a “legal restriction” pursuant to section 174.19 of the Act Respecting Municipal Taxation and that applications for review for the assessors’ failure to modify assessments should be filed to offer the possibility of reduced assessments to account for the decrees.

Unfortunately, on September 30, 2020, the Government of Quebec introduced Bill 67 which, if enacted, would remove the possibility of assessment reductions to consider the decrees:

Page 62 article 135. “A rule imposed by the government, a minister or a municipality to protect the health of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has the effect of restricting in whole or in part the activities of a business, does not constitute a legal restriction within the meaning of paragraph 19 of article 174 of the Municipal Taxation Act.

This article is effective as of March 13, 2020.

Link (French only):

If this bill is adopted in its entirety, the solution we had proposed to file applications for review for non-action by the municipal assessors to realize assessment reductions due to the decrees will be dead and buried.

Altus Group is currently analyzing the options available to help during these difficult times.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions.

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