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Under the Municipal Government Act, Property is defined as:
- A parcel of land;
- An improvement, or;
- A parcel of land and the improvements to it.
An improvement may be anything added to a vacant parcel of land including buildings, gravel, paving, fencing, light poles, towers, etc. Improvements also include machinery and equipment used for manufacturing and processing and do not have to be physically attached to the parcel of land.
Under the Municipal Government Act, Designated Industrial Property (DIP) is defined as:
The Provincial Assessor, as part of Alberta Municipal Affairs, is responsible for the property assessment of all Designated Industrial Property in Alberta. DIP includes all properties formerly defined as Linear Properties, all petroleum production-related properties, major plants as designated by Regulation/Minister’s Guideline (such as pulp mills, lumber mills, oil refineries, gas & petrochemical plants, etc.), and railway (including privately-owned spur and rail lines).
For property assessments, there are two ways of valuing property in Alberta.
- Regulated – These properties are valued according to procedures and rates published by Alberta Municipal Affairs for the express purpose of assessing properties. Regulated properties include farmland, machinery & equipment, and Designated Industrial Properties (discussed below).
- Non-Regulated – These properties are valued at their estimated “market value”, and include residential, commercial, and industrial properties not categorized as regulated (i.e. residences, acreages, warehouses, railway gas stations, restaurants, agri-business such as fertilizer facilities, etc.).
Some properties, such as farm residences, have both regulated and non‑regulated components considered in their total assessment.
For Non-regulated property, the Assessor must determine an annual 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 the one in which a tax is imposed. For example, 2018 property taxes are based on the 2017 assessment year. For the 2018 taxation year, the “effective date” of the assessment is July 1, 2017. This value reflects the characteristics and physical condition of the land and improvements of the property is December 31, 2017 – this is known as the “condition date”.
Alberta Municipal Affairs audits every municipality’s assessment each year to ensure it meets the quality standards set out in the MGA, Regulations, and Minister’s Guidelines. Assessment Auditors examine the Assessor’s data submission and report back to the municipality upon completion.
The property assessment within each municipality in Alberta is divided between the Municipal Assessor and the Provincial Assessor. The Municipal Assessor of the MD of Taber Assessment Department completes the annual assessment of residential, farmland, non-residential, machinery & equipment – those properties not classified as Designated Industrial Property (DIP).
What does an assessor need to know about my property to prepare the assessment?
The MGA authorizes the Assessor the “Right to enter on and inspect property” after the owner/occupier has been notified and informed the purpose of the inspection is to collect information to prepare an assessment of the property for taxation purposes. The Municipal District of Taber publishes Notifications of Property Inspections on this website and in its quarterly newsletters. An owner has a legal “Duty to provide information” to the Assessor upon request or he/she may be unable to make a complaint pertaining to that assessment.
To prepare an estimate of value the Assessor needs to know about your property. Information typically gathered on a property includes the type, size, age, improvement characteristics (e.g. heating type, plumbing fixtures, interior finish), and the determination of a “property class” based on the use of the improvement and/or property (e.g. residential, farm, commercial, industrial/manufacturing – a property may have to 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. It is the owner's responsibility to contact the Assessor and review their property assessment(s) to ensure the details are accurate.
Once the Assessor has gathered all the pertinent data on properties in the municipality he/she will “stratify” or categorize the properties into comparable groups according to their location, use, age, type, characteristics, etc. For example, properties used primarily for residential purposes are classed as Residential and may be further “stratified” by subclass such as Vacant or Improved. Further “stratification” may include groupings based on age and type, for instance, One-Story, Two-Story, Bi-level, Split-level, etc. This is important to ensure that properties are valued fairly and equitably with other similar properties.
If you have recently purchased the property, the Assessor may request sale information to determine if it is an indication of typical market conditions (comparable). This may include asking: What the use of the property was at the time of sale? Was it serviced? Was it purchased from a family member or an inheritance? Was there any personal property (e.g. appliances) included? Have there been any changes to the property since the sale? Property sales in the MD of Taber are reviewed and then used if appropriate to ensure that assessments are comparable to typical market values.
How does the MD of Taber Calculate my Property Assessment?
Non‑Regulated (Market Value) Property
In Alberta, Non-Regulated properties are valued according to the Market Value standard set out in the MGA and Regulations. In appraisal and assessment theory there are three “approaches to valuation” when valuing real property. The MD of Taber Assessor primarily uses the Cost Approach and the Sales Comparison Approach in evaluating properties for assessment.
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, please contact an assessor at the Municipal District of Taber Administration Office.
- First, please review your property information with the Appointed Assessor to make sure the information about the property is accurate. This is the most important step.
- Second, if you believe the information about your property is incorrect, please arrange a meeting with the Appointed Assessor to discuss any discrepancies that may affect the value of your property. The Appointed Assessor may ask to re-inspect your property to correct the property assessment if necessary.
- If you are unable to come to an agreed property value after reviewing and discussing your property and comparable properties with the Appointed Assessor, you may choose to file a complaint with your municipality’s assessment review board clerk. Information on filing an Assessment Complaint can be found on the reverse side of your Property Assessment Notice.
In order to prepare an estimated value, the Appointed Assessor needs to know about your property. The MGA allows the Appointed Assessor the “right to enter on and inspect property” so long as the owner/occupier has been given notice and informed that the intent of the inspection is to determine an assessment of the property. Information typically gathered on a property includes the type, size, age, and characteristics (e.g. heating type, plumbing fixtures, interior finish) of improvements, and the ‘property class’ based use of the improvement/property (e.g. residential, farm, commercial, industrial/manufacturing – a property may be dual purpose, residential and industrial), etc.
Data collection may be in the form of a physical inspection, in-person or phone interview, by mail-in questionnaire or survey, or by using electronic data available through photos, land titles, etc. The MGA also states an owner has a “duty to provide information” to the Appointed Assessor when it is requested, or the property owner forfeits their right to filing a complaint about the assessment. Your assessment is only as accurate as the information provided to, or gathered by the Appointed Assessor when requested.
If you have recently purchased the property, the Appointed Assessor may ask for information about the sale to be used as an indication of typical market conditions. Questions may include:
- What the use of the property was at the time of sale?
- Was it serviced?
- Was it purchased from a family member or an inheritance?
- Was there any personal property (e.g. appliances) included?
- Have there been any changes to the property since the sale?
An Assessment is the estimated value of your property for the purpose of providing a basis for a municipality to levy a property tax. You may file a complaint regarding your assessment.
Taxes are the amount of money a municipality collects from each assessed person to pay expenditures and transfers set out in its annual budget and pay any other requisitions allowed by the Act (i.e. Alberta School Foundation Fund, School Boards, Subsidized Seniors housing, etc.). You can NOT register a complaint against your taxes.
The information on this site is a summary of the applicable legislative requirements contained in the Municipal Government Act, The Regulations, and the Minister’s Guidelines. For further information on these statutes and procedural guides please visit Alberta Municipal Property Assessment.
Connect with the Assessment Services Branch:
15th Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4L4