Understanding Your Property Tax

Property taxation in made up of two parts: assessment and the taxation rate.

Assessment” is the process of estimating a dollar value on a property for taxation purposes. This value is used to calculate the amount of taxes that will be charged to the owner of the property. 

“Taxation” is the process of applying a tax rate to a property’s assessed value to determine the taxes payable by the owner of that property.

An assessment notice provides you with the assessed value of your property and is mailed by June 30 of each year.  The notices contain important information such as: name of property owner and mailing address, legal description, roll number, assessment class, land and improvement assessment, tax rates, school support allocation (public or separate), final date to file a complaint and complaint filing fee, and contact information.   

Property assessment is done each year based on the previous year’s market values. The assessment plays a major role in determining the amount of municipal and education tax each property owner will pay.  An assessment fairly and accurately distributes municipal and education taxes among property owners.  Property values do not increase or decrease identically. 

Market value is the price a property could sell for on the open market as of a given date. The assessor will review and analyze the real estate market to establish market value. The assessed value on your current Property Assessment and Tax Notice is based on the previous year’s real estate market conditions. 

The market sets the value of your property. The cost, income, or sales comparison approaches determine the market value assessments. Market value assessments vary by geographic location, building style, and size of property. Assessments reflect the market value of properties and are updated every year.  

Property assessment is used in combination with a tax rate, set each year by Starland County Council, to determine the municipal property taxes. In addition to this amount there are additional tax rates levied by the provincial government for school taxes, as well as the Drumheller Seniors Foundation, which are collected by Starland County on their behalf.  Your property tax bill will show each of these charges individually.  For a more detailed discussion of property taxes and assessment as well as your right to access assessment information the Government of Alberta has released the following guides.

Guide to Understanding Property Assessment and Taxation

Guide to Making Sure Your Assessment is Fair and Accurate

Access to Property Information

If you feel your assessment is incorrect, or if you have any other questions about your tax or assessment notice please contact our Assessment Department at 403-772-3793.  In most cases, concerns about an assessment can be resolved without a formal appeal. For more information about assessment appeals please click on the link to the right.

Updated 8 years, 8 months ago on Sep 24th, 2015