In 1963, an insurance broker office was located in the basement of a triplex. It is only from 2003, however, that Ville de Montréal considered this basement as commercial, for the purpose of its taxation.

In 2004, this professional office was sold and the new owner left the premises soon after, the same year. Afterwards, the borough refused to issue a permit allowing commercial/professional operations in this basement on the basis that the building is residential and that only the residing owner can operate a professional business therein.

As early as 2005, the citizen requested that the City modifies the classification of his basement, from commercial to residential, which would have a significant impact on his property tax bill. He also requested a tax refund, retroactive to January 1, 2005, between the taxes he had actually paid and the amount he should have. Both requests were denied.

The Ombudsman took steps with the Direction de l’évaluation foncière of Service des affaires corporatives which later confirmed that the property assessment roll had finally been modified to make the entire building “residential”, as of January 1, 2006. The citizen would, therefore, be reimbursed retroactively to that date.

In light of the fact that the citizen had undertaken his requests as early as 2005, the Ombudsman de Montréal pursued her initiative to request retroactivity for the year 2005 as well, which she finally obtained. The citizen was very happy, indeed.

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