Utility and review board dismisses assessment appeals

PORT HOOD: The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) heard a pair of appeals from Port Hood Sunset Beach Resort and Spa Inc. in relation to its property assessments. The appeals were dismissed on August 27.

The property in question is located at 155 Main Street in Port Hood. Business owner Laura Surch maintained the assessments were too high.

The assessments were issued by Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC), and they dealt with the 2015 and 2016 value of the property. The classification of the property was also appealed.

Before the involvement of the UARB, the Nova Scotia Assessment Appeal Tribunal heard Surch’s appeals and dismissed them. The tribunal’s decisions were dated June 19, 2017 and, according to documents from PVSC, the decisions were received on June 30, 2017.

On August 8, 2017, Surch contacted the UARB indicating she wanted to appeal the decision. The following day, she filed a Notice of Appeal by facsimile.

The matter was decided by Roberta J. Clarke, who outlined her decision in a 17-page document.

In her summary, Clarke said that Surch claimed she did not receive the decisions until sometime after July 24, 2017 but “Counsel for the Director said that the decisions were mailed on July 5, 2017, and it is that date which triggers the time for filing an appeal.”

Surch also said the decisions she received did not bear a stamp indicating the date on which the documents were mailed to her, and thus she did not know the pertinent date until talking with a staff person in the recorder’s office on August 8, 2017.

“The board finds that the date on which the recorder mailed the decisions to the appellant is July 6, 2017,” Clarke wrote in her decision. “It is the date of mailing, and not when the item is received by an appellant that triggers the limitation period. Therefore, the appeal to the board needed to be filed on or before August 8, 2017.

“Further, the board finds that the brief letter received by the board on August 8, 2017, did not include the full information required… “Thus, the board concludes that there was no Notice of Appeal filed in the time prescribed by the act and the rules.”

The formal Notice of Appeal was filed outside the 30-day limit.

“The board has no authority to extend the time in which a Notice of Appeal may be filed,” Clarke stated. “Consequently, the board has no jurisdiction to hear the appeals, which are hereby dismissed.”