The Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (“SAMA”) is the provincial organization that provides property assessment services for local municipalities. The provincial government mandates SAMA to conduct periodic revaluations of all Saskatchewan properties every four years to coincide with the change to a new base date. The current revaluation was completed in 2021 using the 2019 base date. The next revaluation is to be done in 2025 using a 2023 base date.
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Information taken from the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency website.
What is an Assessment?
An assessment is the act of determining a property’s value.
What is the relationship between property assessment and taxes?
The key difference is that assessment (the act of determining assessment values for all properties) is SAMA’s responsibility, while the task of setting property taxes belongs to municipal governments.
The relationship between assessment and taxes comes from the fact that municipal governments levy taxes as a “mill rate” that is charged as a proportion of a property’s assessment value.
Since the starting point is the assessed value, it is important to make sure that each property’s value is assessed fairly by SAMA.
Why did the value of my property change?
One of two things may have occurred:
The real estate market may have changed. Market forces are the usual cause of a change in assessments. These changing market forces are seen every four years when SAMA does a “revaluation” that updates assessments using a new base year.
A property may also have been changed. For example, the buildings may have been upgraded. This change in physical data can happen at any time.
Why is it that my assessment value may not match what I just paid for a property, or what another appraiser said my property is worth?
To create an equitable system, SAMA determines assessments that reflect long-term values, and avoid short-term market fluctuations.
The selling price for any individual property is always subject to short-term, local market conditions, and to the negotiations of each buyer and seller.
As for fee appraisers, they also focus on immediate, actual, local market conditions, not on long-term fair value. Even their assessments, however, may not be the same as what an individual buyer and seller may agree upon when selling a property.
What happens if I disagree with my property’s assessed value?
There is an appeal process you can follow. Contact your local municipal office or SAMA regional office.
I’m not sure if I should appeal. How can I find out if the assessment of my property is accurate?
First, contact your local municipal office and ask if an assessment open house or information meeting has been scheduled. That will be an important source of information.
You can also contact the nearest SAMA office. We would be happy to discuss the methods used to arrive at the value of your property.
Who decides how assessments are done?
The policies, procedures and standards for assessment are determined by SAMA, and must be followed by all Saskatchewan municipalities. This job is mandated to SAMA by provincial legislation titled “The Assessment Management Agency Act”.
Who conducts assessments?
Each municipality determines who will conduct the assessment of its properties. SAMA has staff, expertise and regional offices to provide this service, and is contracted by many municipalities to do their assessment maintenance, revaluation and reassessment work.
Some larger municipalities maintain their own staff of assessors.
What’s a “base date?”
The base date is the year on which property assessments are determined.
For that reason, revaluations are done every four years so that assessed values remain as up-to-date as possible.
When is the next revaluation?
Every four years, therefore the next revaluation will be completed in 2025, 2029, and so forth.
For more information, visit SAMA’s website at: www.sama.sk.ca