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.
Thank you for commenting. You might also want to post your comments on the source website, CBC News.
On behalf of the City of Edmonton's Assessment & Taxation Branch, I'd like to clarify a few inaccuracies in Mr. Hampton's article: 'Edmonton Property Taxes Rise, Assessments Mailed this Week.'
If a homeowner's property decreases in value by the average 1.7% (-1.7%), the homeowner will likely see an increase of about 5.4% (per the City's budget, passed in December. This rate remains subject to change until it is finalized prior to the distribution of the tax notices in May) for the municipal tax portion of his/her property taxes. The other factor in property taxes is the provincial education tax rate, which is announced every spring by the provincial government.
Homeowners whose property value decreased less than the average 1.7% (e.g. dropped by 1.4%), or actually increased in value (e.g. rose by 2%) will see the municipal portion of their property taxes increase more than the budget-required 5.4%. Likewise, homeowners whose property value decreased more than the average (e.g. dropped by 2.5%) will see the municipal portion of their property tax bill go up by less than 5.4%.
Finally, it's important to note that the provincially legislated valuation date used for the 2012 assessment is July 1, 2011. That's why homeowners are encouraged, when they receive their 2012 Notice of Assessment, to verify that the stated value on their Notice matches with what their house could have sold for on July 1, last summer.
Thank you for the opportunity to clarify the relationship between property assessment and property taxes.
City of Edmonton