Understanding Your Assessment

How Assessments are calculated: Property assessment is the process of assigning a dollar value to a property for taxation purposes. In Alberta, a property is taxed based on the value of the property. Property assessment is the method used to distribute the tax burden among property owners in a municipality. Your assessment is completed using the laws outlined in the Municipal Government Act. - All municipalities are required, by law, to use and follow this act. -Properties in Alberta are assessed using a method called mass appraisal. Mass appraisal is the process of valuing a group of properties as of a given date, using common data, mathematical models, and statistical tests. Mass appraisal techniques allow assessors to accurately value a large number of properties in a short period of time. - Before an assessment can be prepared, property data must be collected. Accurate and complete property records lead to more accurate assessed values. The more accurate the assessed values, the more equitable the entire assessment system is. Detailed information about each property is gathered by making on-site visits or by corresponding with the owner of the property. Correspondence with a property owner usually occurs when the assessor is requesting information about the sale of a property, construction costs, or rental income for non-residential property. Information collected by the assessor in the assessment process is also available from other sources including Alberta Land Titles, Real Estate Multiple Listing Services, and financial institutions. We periodically re-inspect properties to update the information in our files. (See Assessment Inspections for more information) - All assessments, other than farmland, are based on market values. Properties in Alberta are classified as either residential, non-residential, farmland, linear or machinery & equipment. Some properties have more than one class. -The marketplace and not the assessor determines the value of your property. Thus, properties with similar market values will have comparable assessed values. Residential properties are assessed at market value, as of July 1st of the year preceding the assessment and tax notice. Market value is determined by analyzing the sales of all property types throughout the municipality. The mass appraisal techniques (listed above), are used in this valuation process. Since assessment reflects median sale values, the assessment may be slightly higher or lower than an actual sale price on a particular property. - All farmland properties are now assessed using the annual Alberta Ministers' Guidelines, in conjunction with the Alberta Farmland Assessment Manual. This is designed to measure the potential ability of the land to produce agricultural products. The Rural Assessment Policy applies the amount of agricultural valued land assessment in the owner's unit as an exemption towards the residence. (See Assessment Classes for more information on how assessments are calculated in the province of Alberta) Quite often owners confuse taxes with assessment. It is important to distinguish the difference. Although one impacts the other, each is a distinct and independent process. "Assessment" is the process of estimating a dollar value on a property for taxation purposes. This value is used to calculate the amount of taxes that will be charged to the owner of the property. "Taxation" is the process of applying a tax rate to a property's assessed value to determine the taxes payable by the owner of the property. (See How Property Taxes Are Determined for more information on taxes). An owner cannot change the tax rate, however an owner can question their property assessment. Discover More >>

Assessment & Taxes

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1. How Property Taxes Are Determined
2. Understanding Your Assessment
3. Assessment Classes
4. Assessment Inspections
5. Property Ownership Changes
6. Manufactured Mobile Home Parks
7. Filing A Complaint On An Assessment
8. Education Property Tax
9. Senior's Financial Assistance