Farmland is defined in the Municipal Government Act and the Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation as “land used for farming operations” “and is assessed based on its productivity level based on regulated rates developed by Alberta Municipal Affairs.  

How is farmland valued for assessment?
 Farmland is currently assessed based on its ability to produce income from the growing of crops and/or the raising of livestock. The productive value of farmland is determined using a process that sets a value for the best soils, and then makes adjustments for less than optimum conditions such as stones, the presence of sloughs, or topography not conducive to farming practices.
How do we qualify for farm status?
 To qualify for farm status, you must meet the definition of farming operations as defined in the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and the parcel must qualify as described in the MGA and Regulations. If you believe your property qualifies for farm status, please contact the Assessment Department at 780-513-3952 to discuss with an assessor or to schedule a time for an assessor come to view your property.
Importance of the Rural Assessment Policy (RAP)

In a rural municipality, a residence on farmland is partially exempted from assessment based on the assessed value of the farmland. The land and/or residence must be privately owned by the same owner or leased from the province or municipality.

Land that is leased from private owners does not qualify for an exemption.

The maximum exemption that a residence can receive on its assessment is $61,540. If there are more residences on the farm unit, each additional residence may receive an exemption of up to $30,770.

Example: 

A farmer has a house with an assessed value of $200,000 and 6 quarters of land with a total assessed value of $120,000. The farmer would qualify to receive the full RAP exemption towards his house assessment.

$200,000 - $61,540 = $138,460 taxable assessment

Important Definitions

Farming Operations

As outlined in the “Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation”, 2018, AR203/2017, farming operations is defined as follows:

1(f.)“farming operations” means the raising, production and sale of agricultural products and includes

i.) Horticulture, aviculture, apiculture, and aquaculture,

ii.) The raising, production and sale of

    (A) horses, cattle, bison, sheep, swine, goats or other livestock,

    (B) fur bearing animals raised in captivity,

    (C) domestic cervids within the meaning of the "Domestic Cervid Industry Regulation" (AR 188/2014), or

    (D) domestic camelids,

iii.) The planting, growing and sale of sod, and

(iv) an operation on a parcel of land for which a woodland management plan has been approved by the Woodlot Association of Alberta or a forester registered under Regulated Forestry Profession Act for the production of timber primarily marketed as whole logs, seed cones or Christmas trees, but does not include any operation or activity on land that has been stripped for the purposes of, or in a manner that leaves the land more suitable for, future development.”

Farm Buildings

“any improvement other than a residence, to the extent it is used for farming operations”.