Manitoba’s property assessment cycle will switch from even to odd years with a recently enacted one-year delay before the next reassessment. The new regulation under the provincial Municipal Assessment Act pushes the start-date for next cycle to 2023, to be based on property values as of April 1, 2021. The current base date — April 1, 2018 — will remain in place for 2021 and 2022.
Ontario has also delayed a new four-year assessment cycle that had been scheduled to begin in 2021, based on property values as on January 1, 2019. However, in contrast to the commercial real estate industry’s general support for that move, critics in Manitoba warn an extra year of tax apportionment based on pre-pandemic values could be a harsh postponement for some property owners. The scheduling adjustment is expected to hurt the most in the retail and hospitality sectors.
“Prior to the new regulation, a reassessment of all properties in Manitoba with a valuation date of April 1, 2020 would have been required in 2022. Although the full impact of the pandemic on commercial properties was not fully known as of April 1, 2020, the economic conditions that were known by that date would arguably have reduced the values of many asset classes, possibly resulting in tax relief for 2022,” maintains Rod Slaughter, vice president, property tax, with Altus Group in Winnipeg. “Due to the delay, property assessments in Manitoba will not reflect any negative impact of the pandemic known by April 1, 2020 until the 2023 assessment.”
Nor is there much optimism that Manitoba’s local governments will be providing general property tax abatement beyond short-term payment deferrals that many Canadian municipalities offered earlier this year. However, Slaughter notes that “certain building closures”, along with property damage and/or changes to the physical characteristics of the property could be grounds to apply for tax relief.
“We are engaged with industry organizations such as REALPAC, NAIOP and the International Council of Shopping Centers and following advocacy efforts for measures such as tax deferral, abatement, or waiver,” he adds.
After this unexpected three-year interval, Manitoba will revert to a two-year cycle. The subsequent reassessment is set for 2025, based on property values as of April 1, 2023.