Assessment is the process of valuing property for the purpose of fairly and equitably distributing a municipality’s total property tax among property owners. This process establishes the value of a property in relation to similar properties and does not in itself generate property taxes. Property taxes are generated when the Provincial school & Municipal tax rates are multiplied by the assessed value of your property. The municipal tax rate is also known as the municipal mill rate.
We are governed by the Municipal Government Act of the Province of Alberta and associated regulations. The estimated value we place on your property comes from the measurement, analysis and interpretation of the real estate market.
In the preparations of the assessment, the Municipal Government Act and associated regulations define two types of property:
- Regulated – These properties are valued according to rates published by Alberta Municipal Affairs for the express purpose of assessment and include properties such as farmland, railway, machinery & equipment and linear (i.e. pipelines, electric power, transmission lines, telecommunications equipment).
- Non-Regulated – These properties are valued based on their estimated market value, and include residential, commercial, and industrial properties (i.e. hamlet residences, acreages, farm residences, warehouses, gas stations, restaurants, etc.)
In accordance with the MGA & Regulations, each year the Assessor must determine an estimate of “market value” that is based on the “fee simple estate” as of July 1 of the assessment year. The assessment year is the year prior to that in which a tax is imposed. For example, 2012 property taxes are based on the assessment year 2011 therefore the “effective date” of the assessment is July 1, 2011. The physical condition date and progressive date would be December 31/2011 for 2012 taxation.
Alberta Municipal Affairs audits each municipality’s assessment each year to ensure that it is complete, accurate, and meets the quality standards set out in the MGA, Regulations, and Minister’s Guidelines. Assessment Auditors examine the Assessor’s required data submission and report back to the municipality upon completion.