Moose Jaw City Council has been informed by the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA) that a request for a secondary audit has been denied.
City Manager Jim Puffalt delivered the news at tonight's council meeting (March 13). He also noted that after checking into the matter, there doesn't seem to be further opportunity for appeal.
The city had requested that the Quality Assurance Division of SAMA complete a secondary audit due to issues raised by property owners regarding the fairness of assessments.
Quality Assurance Director Karlo Simonson responded in a letter dated February 28, 2023 advising that there is no evidence that suggests the need for a secondary audit.
“The preliminary investigation on the income model used in Moose Jaw reviewed the underlying data and calculations for error. It also reviewed the analysis and implementation of the model to ensure that the steps and requirements outlining in the Market Value Handbook were executed correctly. The review found no issues that would require the detailed review that a secondary audit provides.”
Councillor Crystal Froese commented on the issue.
"I think it's the use of multiple cap rates that keeps coming up time and time again in comparison to other cities that don't have this many," she remarked. "I understand that they can validate that but I think one of the key issues that has been brought before us, is this use of multiple cap rates that is causing confusion in our community. I'm not sure how they're going to answer that. I think somewhere along the way, we need to hear back from them about this, because it just doesn't seem to be satisfied in this process."
Councillor Dawn Luhning responded to the comments made by Councillor Froese.
"We are not the only city that has multiple cap rates. I urge my colleagues on council to be careful what you say about things that maybe you don't know all the information on."
SAMA is analyzing additional sales data and plans to present any major shifts in the 2023 assessments to city council during the March 27 meeting.
"We can ask those questions then and hopefully get down to some really good information about some things that SAMA is working on for our city and assessment," added Luhning.