Property taxes typically comprise 42% of a building's total operating costs: a staggering tax burden which will get heavier rather than lighter in the years ahead. This tax burden falls right down to a business's bottom line and thus impacts adversely on the rent the tenant can afford to pay for their space.
Each year our property tax team liberates millions of dollars for productive use: money that is used by the private sector to expand, invest in new technology, create jobs and improve profits (ours too). Capital that would otherwise be squandered by the public sector on misallocated resources. If you are a property owner or occupier in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island or own a heavy industrial or specialty property anywhere in Canada, we can probably alleviate your tax burden.
We believe that our client should know what our services will cost before we commence the assignment ... there should be no surprises! We therefore enter into a written contract which clearly specifies the scope and cost of the work. Since we typically employ a potential three step process (audit, negotiation, court) we provide fee quotations before commencing each phase so that the client can weigh the cost versus the tax savings involved and determine whether to utilise our services, proceed alone or abandon the appeal. We have constructed a pricing algorithm which enables us to provide fee quotations based on the type, size and location of the property and the stage of the appeal process.
Some clients prefer to limit their risk by opting for a "contingency" rather than a "fixed fee" basis. The former is typically computed as 40% to 50% of the tax savings. In our experience a contingency fee is almost always more expensive for the taxpayer and usually results in sub-optimal tax savings because of the temptation to suffice i.e. get the best deal for the tax agent rather than the taxpayer. It is not possible to proceed to court where the tax agent's remuneration is contingent on the outcome of the appeal since no weight will be placed on the latter's evidence. Whilst it is rarely necessary to take the court route it obviously limits one's negotiating room if the penultimate step, resolution by the Appeal Board, is only available to the Assessor. For these reasons, we recommend against contingency fees.
Property Tax Appeals
We undertake property tax appeals on all types of property.
Click here for our Property Tax products video or review actual Property Tax case studies.