City of Saskatoon v. Brandt Properties Ltd.

(Saskatchewan) (Civil) (By Leave)


Municipal law - Taxation, Evidence - Municipal law — Taxation — Property assessments — Evidence — Assessment — Property owners challenging municipal tax assessments of warehouse based on distinction in location —Owners presenting expert evidence that market valued properties similarly in locations that the city treated differently — Court of Appeal determining that appeals committee committed errors of law and remitting matter for reconsideration — What should be the juridical guiding principles for assessing property in Canada for property tax purposes? — When is an assessment model in error? — What is the test to determine whether properties are comparable or similar?.


Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch). Please note that summaries are not provided to the Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file and website for information purposes only.

The respondent, Brandt Properties Ltd., represents owners of certain large warehouses located in the City of Saskatoon. The city assessor valued the warehouses using a model that differentiated between locations north and south of 51st street. The owners challenged the municipal taxation of these properties. They contended that the city’s assessment model was based on an artificial distinction in location that had no connection to the market value of their properties when compared to other comparable properties. Before the City’s Board of Revision, an expert testified that the market for warehouses did not act differently north or south of 51st street. The Board of Revision was not persuaded that the assessment model was in error. The Saskatchewan Municipal Board Assessment Appeals Committee dismissed the owners’ appeal. The Court of Appeal granted leave to appeal. On appeal, it concluded that the Appeals Committee erred in law in its review of the Board of Revision’s treatment of the owners’ evidence and erred by failing to grapple with arguments made by the owners that the assessment model was not based on value-driving characteristics as demanded by The Cities Act, S.S. 2002, c. C 11.1. It remitted the matter back to the Appeals Committee for determination in accordance with its judgment.