BANFF – The Town of Banff is investigating options for joining a regional assessment review board.
Banff’s assessment review board – a quasi-judicial body set up to hear complaints against local property assessments – last saw an appeal in 2021.
“I am interested in learning more about the regional assessment review board and what that could look like,” said Mayor Corrie DiManno during council’s Sept. 12 meeting.
“If it’s relatively not too time consuming, I think it would be interesting to gather the information just for the long-term efficiency of this board.”
The Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires every municipality to have a local assessment review board.
However, the legislation also allows two or more councils to jointly establish assessment review boards to have jurisdiction in their respective municipalities.
Town of Banff officials say a regional board would allow for continued access to qualified, experienced and unbiased board members from a pool of members with expertise on quasi-judicial boards or those with assessment, legal or valuation backgrounds.
“I do know that there are quite a few municipalities that make use of these regional boards and there’s a lot of benefits of doing so,” said Libbey McDougall, municipal clerk for the Town of Banff.
“The biggest one for a municipality such as Banff that doesn’t see a lot of appeals is that you would have a pool of very experienced individuals to choose from.”
Improvement District No.9, which covers areas of Banff National Park outside the Banff townsite, is a participating municipality within the Central Alberta Regional Assessment Board. Based in Red Deer, that board supports more than 30 partner municipalities.
Coun. Hugh Pettigrew said he understands it is difficult to fill positions from members of the public but would want to make sure locals could still participate if they choose.
“I think it’s a reasonable way to make sure that we offer the service that the residents might need,” he said.
“As crazy as assessments go sometimes, I am surprised that there’s not more appeals and it’s probably a matter of time before we have one.”