Today, the city of Edmonton, AB sent out property tax assessments to homeowners. For many in the capital of the western Canadian province, the assessments for 2012 will be surprising. Like many areas of the country and around the world, Edmonton’s property values have declined, but despite this, property taxes will still rise.
Those homeowners who were hit with a drop in property values of greater than the 1.7 percent of 2010 will be eligible for a tax break, but those fortunate enough to have to have the property values increase will get hit with a 5.4 percent tax hike, thanks to city council legislation passed last month.
Most provinces in Canada are seeing a drop in property values, which is good for buyers looking for affordable housing, but it also means that property taxes could suffer. In most municipalities, property taxes are used to pay for city-funded services and jobs. Therefore, the only way to maintain the same level of city income when property values fall is to increase taxes.
Edmonton officials are urging residents to make sure their property value assessments are correct. They can compare their assessments with other homes in their areas and report any noticeable discrepancies to city assessors.
“We encourage homeowners to review their property’s assessed value, compare it with similar properties in their area using our online tool, and make sure the value reflects what the house could have sold for on the open market on July 1 last year,” said Rod Risling, manager of the assessment and taxation branch.