The estimated value place on your property comes from the measurement, analysis, and interpretation of the real estate market.

In the preparation to assess your property, it must first be determined whether your property is regulated or non-regulated.

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.)

The Assessor must also determine an estimate of market value.

Market Value

The Municipal Government Act Section 1(1) describes market value as follows:

(n) “market value” means the amount that a property, as defined in section 284(1)(r), might be expected to realize if it is sold on the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer;

This definition would make the following assumptions:

  • sufficient exposure time in the market
  • neither buyer or seller are under any undue pressure
  • both buyer or seller are well informed
  • payment for the property is typical for the market

For assessment purposes an assessor reviews and measures the real estate market on July 1 of the previous year in which a tax is imposed with consideration to the physical attributes and condition of your property as of December 31 of the previous year.

Assessors for the County of Grande Prairie will obtain and use information from several sources to help establish the assessed values.

For example, assessors obtain:

  • Sales from land titles on an annual basis
  • MLS information
  • Income data on specialized properties
  • Professional opinions from appraisers and developers
  • Information from homeowners
  • Data collected on inspection and from the County Planning department.

For assessment purposes an assessor reviews and measures the real estate market on July 1 of the previous year in which a tax is imposed with consideration to the physical attributes and condition of your property as of December 31 of the previous year.

The assessment year is the year before the one in which a tax is imposed.

Assessment Year Example

2018 property taxes are based on the 2017 assessment year. Therefore the “effective date” of the assessment is July 1, 2017.

The physical condition date and progressive date would be as of December 31/2017 for 2018 taxation.

 How are property values assessed?
Residential property values are based on the home's market value, which is what the price a property is reasonably expected to sell for. Assessors gather information on ranges of sale prices in the marketplace and use these sales to establish the assessed values on property. They complete the valuation using mass appraisal techniques and statistical data as part of the process for calculating market value assessments.

It is important to note that some types of property such as farmland, machinery & equipment, and linear are assessed using provincially regulated rates, and therefore have different valuation standards than market value.

Some types of property such as farmland, machinery & equipment, and linear are assessed using provincially regulated values and therefore have different valuation standards than market value. For more information, check out Municipal Affair's Guide to Property Assessment and Taxation in Alberta.

 Where can I find all the assessed values for the County of Grande Prairie?
All property assessments can be searched on the Public Webmap.

The assessment roll is also available for viewing at the County of Grande Prairie Administration building, or by searching the tax search

You will need the following information to search public tax roll information:

  • Property roll number
  • Rural and property address
  • Property legal description, or
  • Subdivision
  • Technical Information
Valuing Property

There are three approaches to values when valuing real property. 

  • Sales Comparison Approach - Evaluations are based on the actual sale prices of other properties that have sold. This approach is most appropriate when the sales of similar properties are plentiful and reflect the typical market conditions. Of the three approaches it is the most easily understood by the public and courts.
  • Cost Approach - Based on the premise that a property's value is set by the “cost” of replacing an equally desirable substitute within a reasonable time frame. This approach works best for newer improvements where depreciation is less of a factor and special purpose properties which do not tend to sell on a regular basis. It's important to note that cost and value are NOT necessarily the same: cost is the amount required to produce the item, whereas value is related to how desirable the item is to a potential owner.
  • Income Approach - Based on the premise that a property's value is related to its ability to produce an income. This approach works best for properties that are typically rental type properties (i.e. apartment buildings, warehouses, etc).

In Alberta, Non-regulated properties are valued according to the Market Value standard set out in the Municipal Government Act and Regulations. The Assessor utilizes both the Cost Approach and the Sales Comparison Approach in evaluating these properties for assessment. We would call this the modified cost approach.

Assessments are prepared by applying cost and sales data to the specific details of your property held by the Assessor.

Regulated properties such as Farmland and Machinery & Equipment are valued using the appropriate procedures, tables and rates set out by the Provincial Government in Legislation relating to each property class and type of property. For further information on your property assessment calculation please contact one of the assessors at the County of Grande Prairie at 780-513-3952.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an Assessor need to know about my Property to prepare the Assessment?

In order to prepare an estimate of value the Assessor needs to know about the physical characteristics and condition of each property. In particular:

  • the type
  • size
  • age
  • characteristics (e.g. heating type, plumbing fixtures, interior finish) of improvements
  • the ‘property class' based use of the improvement/property (e.g. residential, farm, commercial, industrial/manufacturing – a property may have be dual purpose, residential & industrial), etc.

Data collection may be in the form of a physical inspection, in-person or phone interview, by mail-in questionnaire or using electronic data available through photos, land titles, etc. Your assessment is only as accurate as the information provided to, or gathered by, the Assessor when requested.

If you've recently purchased the property, the Assessor may also ask for information about the sale to determine if it can be used as an indication of typical market conditions.

Does a property owner have to answer questions or provide information about their property?

The Municipal Government Act says it best in Part 9, Division 1, Section 295

(1) A person must provide, on request by an assessor, any information necessary for the assessor to carry out the duties and responsibilities of an assessor under Parts 9 to 12 and the regulations.

(4) No person may make a complaint in the year following the assessment year under section 460 or, in the case of designated industrial property, under section 492(1) about an assessment if the person has failed to provide any information requested under subsection (1) within 60 days from the date of the request.

How are assessments completed on vacant land?

Assessments of vacant land are prepared based on the market value and use. This value would be determined by comparing similar properties to one another. If the parcel is used for farming operations, the value would be based on agricultural use value.

My home was partially built upon receiving my tax/assessment notice. How does that affect my assessment value?

The Assessment/Tax Notices are generally mailed out in May. The assessment value on your notice will be reflective of the physical condition and level of completion as of December 31 of the previous year in which you receive your notice.

For example, if a home was partially complete as of that date, the assessment would include a value for the land, site improvements, value added for the services, plus a value for the building based on the stage of completion.

If I have a portable or movable structure, will I be assessed and taxed for it?

The simple answer is ‘yes'. Portable or movable structures such as frame and fabric buildings, sheds, relocatable offices, relocatable metal oilfield buildings, mobile homes, cabins, and sea cans (to name a few) will be, and are, assessed at the value they would add to the property.

These portable structures are defined in the Municipal Government Act in Part 9, Section 284 1(u) “structure” means a building or other thing erected or placed in, on, over or under land, whether or not it is so affixed to the land as to become transferred without special mention by a transfer or sale of the land.

The exception to this is if the structure is less than 10'x10' or 100 ft2. In this case, the assessment would not include the structure.

How do I know my value is reasonable?

Under the Municipal Government Act you are entitled to see or receive any information about the preparation of your property assessment that the Assessor possesses or controls.

You may also request a summary of the assessment of any assessed property in the municipality as long as confidentiality is not breached. However, if you are making an official request for information, you may be asked to complete and submit an “Information Request Form” for Personal Property  under section 299 & 300 of the Municipal Government Act and comparable properties under section 300.

This ensures the municipality is clear what information you are asking for and can return it to you within 15 days from time or request/payment. The proper forms to make this as an official request can be obtained from the County of Grande Prairie. You may be required to pay a fee before your request can be processed.

We compare the property sales of similar buildings and characteristics to your property.

To view your assessment, or the assessment of another property, use our Tax Search Tool

Other places to help you determine if the value is reasonable would be to:

  • Review your market value by comparing sales of similar properties;
  • Check the factual details that we have on record for your property;
  • Ensure equity by comparing other properties in your neighbourhood; or
  • Obtain an appraisal.

The factual data about my property is incorrect on the website. What is the process to have this data corrected?

To correct factual data about your property, please contact the Assessment Department at 780-513-3952. Your information will be reviewed in a timely fashion.

What happens if my property had a fire during the year?

A Property assessment is determined based on the physical condition of the property as of December 31, prior to the year in which the tax is imposed. If the fire damage was present on or before the December 31st date, the assessment/tax notice will reflect the impact on the value due to the fire.

If the fire damage occurred in the same year in which you receive your assessment/tax notice, your assessment will not consider fire damage or repairs until the following tax year.

Why is there a difference between the sale/purchase price of my home and the assessed value?

A Property Assessment value is not necessarily the same as an individual sale / purchase price. For similar properties, there is a range of prices. Your property may not have sold or been purchased as of the valuation date of July 1.

What is the importance of Land is being used for something other than what it was zoned for?

There are many different situations in our municipality where the use of a property will be different than the zoning. The Municipal Government Act has given us four assessment classes to assign to properties.

  1. Class 1 – residential
    1. Vacant residential
    2. Improved residential
  2. Class 2 – non-residential
    1. Vacant non-residential
    2. Improved non-residential
  3. Class 3 – farmland
  4. Class 4 – machinery and equipment

It is also stated in the Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation, 2018 that the valuation standard for a parcel of land is either market value or if the parcel is used for farming operations, its agricultural use value (which is the value of a parcel of land based exclusively on its use for farming operations).

A parcel of land that is being used for something other than what it was zoned for could affect the assessment. For example: if a bush quarter parcel is zoned AG (agricultural) but is not farmed, fenced and grazed with livestock and does not meet the definition of farming operations will be assessed at its full market value and coded as vacant residential because it does not fall under any of the other classification.