You received your property assessment notice in the mail in January and it says your home is worth a certain amount, but how does your municipality determine that value?
The value on your assessment was actually decided on July 1st of the previous year. Property assessors look at the real estate market conditions in your area as of July 1st, then analyze data from throughout the year from a variety of sources to establish a probable value, or the price they think your home would have sold for on the open market.
Assessors use certain criteria when assigning a value: the style, size, age, and condition of your home all factor in, as does the lot size, location factors (nearby parks, commercial buildings, neighbourhood, etc), and outside structures like garages, swimming pools, and more. If your home had any major changes in structure or condition by Dec 31st, that will also be reflected on your assessment.
If you think your home value is incorrect and want to have the municipality reassess it, you have until March 24th to file a complaint.
By the end of May, the municipality will use those assessment numbers from January to calculate how much property tax you will owe for the year and send out your property tax notice. You then have 1 month to pay your tax bill. You may already have signed up with the Tax Installment Payment Plan, in which case your taxes would already be paid, or your mortgage lender may pay your taxes for you. If you’re not sure, please contact me and I can help you navigate the property tax process!
*Please note, as I am based in Edmonton, this information is Edmonton-specific. The processes and many dates will be the same across Alberta, but check with your own local municipality to confirm important dates.