Evidence for Appeals

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EVIDENCE FOR APPEALS

What is evidence?

Evidence is the material submitted by one of the parties to establish the facts and provide support for their position.  It provides the "proof" of the issues in dispute.

Evidence may be provided by the oral testimony of a witness, or by documents, photographs, or physical objects.

What is “expert” evidence?

Expert evidence is evidence that is provided by someone who is qualified by education, training, or experience to give an opinion in a particular field.  For example, the Board could accept as an expert report the appraisal report of a qualified appraiser, where the appraiser gives an opinion on the market value of a property.

For many appeals, the Board may be more persuaded by the actual evidence and your analysis of that evidence rather than the appraiser’s opinion about the value of the property.  While it might be helpful to provide expert evidence, it is not required.  Parties can still be successful in an appeal without providing expert evidence.

Witnesses who are not "experts" may be permitted to give opinions on matters outside common everyday experience.  If their opinions are admitted, the Board will determine the weight to give that opinion evidence.

What evidence does the Board receive?

The Board only receives the evidence and documents that you and the Assessor provide.  We do not receive any evidence from the Property Assessment Review Panel.  The Board does not conduct its own “research”.  The appeal before the Board is an entirely new proceeding and provides the parties with a fresh opportunity to present evidence in support of their case.

When should I submit my evidence?

Most appeals are decided based on written submissions from the parties.  The Board will order the parties to deliver their submissions by specific deadlines.  The submissions must include the party’s evidence along with all their arguments.

For some appeals, the Board will hold an in-person or electronic hearing and, in some cases it may also conduct all or part of a hearing by telephone or video conference. The Board will order the parties to deliver all their evidence by specific deadlines in advance of the hearing.  The Board requires evidence to be produced before the hearing to ensure that:

  • all contentious matters are disclosed in advance,
  • parties know each other’s case,
  • adjournments are not required, and
  • hearings are completed as scheduled. 

Please note

  1. If a party does not deliver their evidence or submissions by their deadlines, the Board may not admit or consider them. 
     
  2. If providing hardcopy evidence or submissions, parties must deliver two copies to the Board and one copy to the other party.

 What evidence will the board accept?

The Board may accept any evidence that is relevant to an issue in the appeal and may make rulings on the admissibility of evidence. It is not bound by the technical and legal rules of evidence and may accept evidence that would not necessarily be accepted in a court – so long as the evidence may be relevant.

The Board cannot accept any evidence that is “privileged”.  Settlement privilege is a type of privilege that covers communication made to resolve a “legal” dispute.  This means that settlement communication at an Appeal Management Conference (AMC), Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), or a Settlement Conference cannot be provided as evidence in a hearing.  In commercial appeals, information contained in another party’s Statement of Issues, Evidence and Analysis cannot be provided as evidence as that document was prepared for the purpose of settlement.  The identification of the issue(s) in the appeal, however, is not privileged.

The Board must consider all the evidence that is admitted and decide which evidence it prefers. The Board may accept or reject all or part of a party's evidence and may determine that the value of the property is lower than, equal to, or higher than the value determined by the Property Assessment Review Panel. The Board must make a decision on the values of both the land and improvements, whether or not the parties have raised the value of both as an issue.

What will be convincing and useful evidence in my appeal?

What is convincing evidence will depend on the issues in your appeal.  If the issue is the value of your property, relevant evidence might include sales details and documents, sales listings, and estimates or invoices for repairs.  You may submit photographs to show how properties compare, or repair work that needs to be done.  

If the issue is market value, the Board needs evidence on the value of the property. If the property itself has not sold, the best evidence will be the sales of similar properties.  

Parties not represented by an agent are highly encouraged to consult the Appeal Guides on the Board’s website. These guides have been prepared to assist you consider your appeal and prepare your evidence:

Single Family Residential Guide

Farm Class Appeal Guide

Commercial Property Appeal Guide

Do I have a strong case (interactive appeal guide)?

Submitting Electronic Evidence?

The Board cannot import some email communications or certain types of attachments into its case management system. 

Email messages must not include embedded images, photographs, videos, hyperlinks, links to dropboxes (or file sharing websites), or tables in the body of an email.  The Board’s system can only import the text from email.  All other information will not be accepted and will not form part of the appeal.

Attachments to emails may only use the following file extensions:

  • .pdf
  • .doc and .docx
  • .xls and .xlsx
  • .txt
  • .rtf

The maximum email size the Board will recognize as an official communication to the Board is 10MB.  The maximum number of attachments per email is limited to 10 attachments. Sending numerous email messages in order to comply with these limits will not be accepted. If parties provide email(s) that exceeds these limits, it will not be accepted electronically.  Alternatively, parties may provide a hard copy of the communication or attachment.

Save the file name using the appeal number and party name (e.g.  2021-01-00001 Appellant.pdf)

Include the appeal number in the email subject line. Send the email to the Board at office@paab.bc.ca and all other parties. 

If technical difficulties are encountered, immediately contact the Board.  Deadlines will not be extended merely because you experience technological problems.

Depending on circumstances, the Board may request a hard copy of the document, submission or report.

If the Board receives a requirement to state a case, the parties to that appeal must produce to the Board two paper copies of their submissions at least one week prior to the filing deadline for the stated case.

In cases of demonstrated hardship or unique circumstances, the Registrar may exclude party from these requirements.

The Board will not recognize email communications that do not comply with Rule 9.1.​​​​​​​

Janaury 2021