Property Assessments and the Customer Review Period

On January 2, 2020, the City mailed out over 500,000 assessment notices. These notices are also available online through the City’s myID. Assessment information can be found on the City’s website at http://www.calgary.ca/assessment.

The City encourages residents to sign up for e-notices through myID. This will cut down on paper, reducing costs as well as cutting down on paper usage. You can sign up to receive assessment documents, as well as other City notifications through myID here:
http://www.calgary.ca/myID

Your assessment is based on the market value of your home or non-residential property as of July 1, 2019 but includes any updates/upgrades to the property as of December 31, 2019. On average, residential properties fell by about 4% in value compared to July 1, 2018. Assessment is determined by looking at sales data, property characteristics (such as lot size, square footage, location, renovations, finished basements, added garages, age of home, etc.), and market analysis. This information is then verified through an audit by the province.

However, City assessors have over 544,000 properties to assess and some errors may happen. This is what the customer review period is meant to handle. The customer review period runs until March 10, 2019. If you believe there was an error in your assessment, you can contact the assessment department at 403-268-2888. The customer review period webpage can be found here:
https://www.calgary.ca/PDA/Assessment/Pages/Customer-review-period.aspx

Customer reviews during this time are at no cost if the discrepancy is an error is an inconsistency like a developed basement or an added garage for example. Information on the process is all available on the site linked above. If you and the assessor are unable to come to a consensus through this review, you can appeal your assessment with the Assessment Review Board and the Assessment department can help you understand what is involved with that process.

The City’s assessment website provides you a number of tools to help you evaluate if your assessment is accurate. You can view the assessed value of similar properties in your neighbourhood, as well as view the sales data from your area. If you believe there has been an error in your assessment, it’s best to gather as much of this information as possible to help assessors make any change.

As mentioned, the average residential property value fell by 4%. Last year the average single-family home was valued at $475,000. This year that has dropped to $455,000. Lower assessed value does not necessarily mean that your 2020 property taxes will fall. Council approved a shift in the tax burden from non-residential properties to residential properties to give our small business community a break. As such, the average residential property will see a tax increase of 7.5%. It is important to note that the City did not increase how much taxes it will collect, but made a slight redistribution in how much it collects from whom. In addition, the province increased the amount it collects from property taxes, which the City has no control over and must collect on the province’s behalf.

What this means is that if your property value fell by 4%, you will pay approximately 7.5% more than you paid last year. If your property fell in value by more than 4%, your tax increase will be lower. If your property fell in value by less than 4%, held its value, or perhaps gained value, the increase will be a little higher than 7.5%.

The City has built a tool to help estimate what your tax bill will be. The average assessed value of a single family home is $455,000. The tool shows what the municipal portion and provincial portion of your tax bill is estimated to be.

You can expand these to see the differences compared to the previous year. For the average priced single family home, the municipal portion of property taxes will be up about $150.10 compared to last year, or $12.51 per month on the TIPP program. Of that $150, $13.79 is a result of the province’s decision to cut police revenue and $136.31 is to reduce the tax burden on our business community. For the provincial portion, the province increased how much it collects from the average home by $53.28, or $4.44 per month.

This tool is available here:
https://www.calgary.ca/PDA/Assessment/Pages/Revenue-neutral-policy-and-calculator.aspx

It is for estimation purposes only and should provide you with a reasonable expectation for your property’s final tax bill, but variances may occur. For non-residential properties, there were slight gains in value across all property types as a whole. Office values increased about 2% in total, retail values increased about 4%, and industrial properties increased by 3%. Because Council shifted some of the tax burden to residential properties, non-residential property owners will generally see a decrease in property taxes compared to 2019, though this does not factor on the Phased Tax Program rebates. Council will evaluate implementing another PTP program later this year. Similar to the description of residential properties above, an increase in value does not necessarily mean taxes will go up. Properties that went up by the average will see taxes the same as last year, less the amount shifted to residential property owners. Therefore, a $1 million non-residential property would see its municipal portion decrease by $1,979.75 and its provincial portion decrease by $147.70 for a total tax decrease of $2,127.45.