Operational Updates

Last Updated: April 12, 2021

On this page you will find operational updates or process changes for the Assessment Review Board (ARB). For a PDF copy of any of the memos posted here, please email the ARB registrar.

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April 2021 - June 2021


April 09, 2021 – Emergency Order Province Wide Restrictions

On April 1, 2021, the Ontario government issued a further restriction to the Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) effective April 3, 2021 for 28 days and on April 7th, a Stay-at-Home order for 28 days effective April 8th.

After a review of the Emergency Order and the Board’s ability to exercise its discretion, the Assessment Review Board will not be suspending any timelines.

Timelines/practices continuing

  • Schedule of Events.
  • Dismissal of appeals.
  • Requests for Reviews under Part 15, Rules 101-105.
  • Requests for late appeals under Rule 26.

All such requests will proceed in accordance with the Rules of Practice and Procedure.

  • Requests to extend the Request for Reconsideration under section 40(4) of the Assessment Act.

Hearing events before the Board

  • All hearing events that are scheduled before the Board will proceed.
  • Any requests for settlement conferences and hearings through a filing of the mandatory meeting form, or a request by the parties, will be scheduled in accordance with our timelines.

Please review your appeals and if there is an opportunity to move any appeals to earlier dates in the process or to a settlement conference and/or hearing event, the ARB is available to meet the needs of the parties.

We understand that this is a difficult time. The ARB is striving to balance the health and safety of our staff and adjudicators with the safety of the parties, while providing fair and accessible services to the public.

The ARB strongly encourages all parties to continue working towards a resolution of the appeal and maintain timelines established through the Schedule of Events. If parties are unable to meet a deadline, or require an extension and/or an adjournment, they can submit an Expedited Board Directions form. The ARB will review each request and each case will be determined on its own merits.

Please continue to visit the ARB website for updates.

We appreciate your understanding and commitment to the ARB’s processes.


January 2021 - March 2021


March 19, 2021 – Appeals Resolution Strategy – 2021 Taxation Year

The Assessment Review Board (ARB) is committed to fulfilling its mandate of resolving property assessment disputes within the regular four-year assessment cycle, however, with the postponement of the general reassessment for the 2021 taxation year, the common understanding is that the current assessment cycle has increased to a five (5) year assessment cycle.

We are writing to advise you of our expectations in resolving appeals before the next assessment cycle begins, including with newly filed 2021 appeals.

We are now at the end of the four-year assessment cycle, and the Board continues to evaluate its caseload and improve processes that were established at the beginning of 2017. Building on the Board’s successes to date, with the continued focus on our digital-first approach to providing services, please note the following updates:

  • New Rules of Practice and Procedure: come into effect on April 1, 2021. The Board provided a consultation period from October to November 2020 so that stakeholders could provide feedback and/or recommendations on updates made to the Rules. This feedback resulted in reducing the schedule of events for the General stream from 66-104 weeks to 40-49 weeks.
  • 2021 Appeals: New appeals filed for 2021 will be assigned a schedule of events.
  • Legacy Appeals Initiative: The Board will continue to monitor legacy appeal proceedings and, where required, will schedule a case conference to provide any necessary direction to ensure the timely resolution of these appeals. As of January 2020, there were approximately 7600 legacy appeals. As of March 2021, there are 1369 appeals.
  • Tax Appeals: Where a tax appeal is currently assigned to the General proceeding along with Assessment Act appeals, and the Assessment Act appeals are resolved, the Board will assign an earlier due date for filing documents to be relied on at the hearing, and schedule a Summary proceeding hearing.
  • Hearing Months Assigned: All current appeals assigned to be heard by general or summary proceeding have been assigned a hearing month. Where a hearing is necessary, the parties are expected to proceed with the hearing by the assigned hearing month. Parties may request a hearing at a later date by completing an Expedited Board Directions Form (EBDF). This request must be submitted within one week of the completion of the settlement conference. Where the request is granted, the Board will schedule the hearing event.
  • Hearing Timelines: All current appeal proceedings assigned to be heard by general proceeding, which are not resolved at the Mandatory Meeting stage, will be scheduled to a settlement conference within eight weeks of the Mandatory Meeting Form due date. If the appeal is not resolved at the settlement conference, the appeal will be scheduled within eight weeks. Unless the parties have complied with the Board’s Rules to elect to obtain additional expert reports, the Board requires that all parties complete all their pre-hearing work, including the exchange of disclosure, no later than the due date for filing the Mandatory Meeting Form.
  • Deeming: Any appeal proceeding that has not been resolved by March 31, 2021, will be deemed to have a 2021 appeal.
  • E-filing: Remember to e-file your appeals. The Board is currently considering a policy of only accepting e-filed appeals.
  • Ongoing Digital Improvements: Where it can, the Board will continue to reduce the use of paper documents, improve and update its processes and systems, work with parties to modernize the transfer of information, and explore ways to improve the use of technology to provide faster and more efficient services.

Expectations:

The Board’s goal is that 85% of all appeals should be resolved before the beginning of the next assessment cycle. The Board expects that all parties continue working collaboratively, towards resolving their appeals.

The Board will continue to review all outstanding appeals to determine whether a case conference should be scheduled. The Board requests that all representatives review their active caseloads to assess whether there is any opportunity to expedite the completion of an appeal proceeding. If so, please contact the Registrar, or submit a request for an EBDF.

As the next assessment cycle approaches, the Board will be issuing an Appeals Resolution Strategy for Active Appeals. The Board looks forward to working with all stakeholders to efficiently resolve appeals in a timely manner and appreciates your commitment and dedication in achieving this goal.


January 29, 2021 - ARB Digital-First Approach – Looking Ahead

The ARB continues to enhance its operations and processes using a digital-first approach to providing services. Some of the digital services we remind you to use are:

Website - Our website is the main portal to access all information about the Board. By visiting our website you can:

  • find information about managing the appeal process and news updates;
  • access our E-Services and other important resources;
  • view appeals and appeal commencement dates, which are updated monthly;
  • review ARB Rules of Practice and Procedure;
  • download forms; and
  • stay informed about Operational Updates.

Tax Calculator – This is an interactive online reference tool that helps potential appellants calculate estimated savings from a possible change in assessment value. Potential appellants can then determine if any potential savings offset all related costs for filing an appeal.

E-Filing – Our appeals are primarily filed electronically. We encourage you to continue to use our safe, secure, reliable and “real time” filing system for filing your appeal. You will receive immediate confirmation of your appeal once all information is entered and payment is received. E-Filed appeals receive a $10 discount off the filing fee.

Email Addresses - As the Board continues to pursue its digital-first approach to meet the diverse needs of Ontarians and enhance the quality of dispute resolution services, anyone who files an appeal with the Board must provide us with an email address. There are many different options available to create an email address if you do not already have one. Email is the most efficient way of communicating with the Board; it’s fast and reliable. Appeals may take longer to process without the ability to communicate with all parties by email.

Email Communication – The Board is committed to communicating with all parties by email. This means that an email address must be provided by appellants for the purpose of resolving appeals. It is the Board’s intention to issue a Practice Direction outlining this requirement.

Electronic Document Guideline – The Board will be issuing a guideline providing direction on the requirements for naming documents that will be filed with the Board electronically.

As we continue to look forward, the ARB is interested in further reducing our paper footprint. The ARB is currently researching ways to eliminate the paper notice to the municipalities by creating a data file that can be sent electronically. We are still in the early stages of this research however we will soon be reaching out to the municipalities to gather more information.

If you are interested in having an “early thinking” discussion with the Registrar, please contact the Board at ARB.Registrar@ontario.ca.


January 19, 2021 - Ontario Declares Second Provincial Emergency

On January 12, 2021, the Ontario government issued a second Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) effective January 14, 2021 for 28 days until February 10, 2021.

The ARB now conducts all of its administrative and adjudicative processes using a digital-first approach. Parties have been successfully communicating and participating in these electronic processes, particularly since the first Declaration of Emergency on March 16, 2020. The ARB has reviewed it discretion under the second Declaration of Emergency and confirms that its current practices and procedures allow the ARB to provide its services in a manner consistent with the “stay at home” order. The ARB will not be suspending any timelines.

The Schedule of Events will continue as published with no changes or suspension to the timelines set. The ARB anticipates all parties will continue to meet their timelines accordingly. The ARB understands that these times can present difficult and sometimes unanticipated challenges. If, despite all efforts, parties are unable to meet a deadline, or require an extension and/or an adjournment, they may submit a request to the ARB though an Expedited Board Directions request form. The ARB will review and determine each request on its own merits.