Assessment is the evaluation of assessable properties on an annual basis with adherence to the Alberta Statute, Municipal Government Act (MGA), and associated regulations.
The purpose of assessment is to fairly and equitably establish values allowing for the fair distribution of the property tax burden. Assessed values are based on establishing either a market or regulated value.
- Market Value -This is defined by the MGA Section 1(n) as “the amount that a property might be expected to realize if it is sold on the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer.” The market value date is established as of July 1, the year preceding the tax year. For example, July 1, 2012, is the valuation date for the 2013 tax year.
- Regulated Value -This is based on rates established annually by Alberta Municipal Affairs, Assessment Services Branch, and published in the Alberta Farmland Assessment Manual, the Alberta Machinery and Equipment Assessment Manual, and the Alberta Linear Property Assessment Manual.
Land that is used for farming operations which means the raising, production, and sale of agricultural products (i.e., crop, hay, pasture, tree, sod), horticulture (cultivation of plants such as green house), aviculture (raising birds), apiculture (raising bees), and aquaculture (farming fish) is assessed at a regulated value. The 2010 base rate for the agricultural use value of farmland is set at $350 per acre for dry arable or pasture land and is adjusted downwards for any factors that hinder productivity (i.e., type of soil, depth of top soil, texture of the soil’s surface and subsurface, topography, stones, any other productivity hindrance).
A commerce or industrial activity occurring on the property including land, buildings, and structures (i.e., stores, mechanical repair, golf courses, gravel pits, land and structures situated at industrial plants excluding machinery and equipment) is assessed at market value. Linear property, a subcategory of non-residential, includes cable distribution (television), electric transmission lines, telecommunication equipment, pipelines, oil, and gas wells, is assessed at a regulated value.
Any installation used in the processing or manufacturing of a product (i.e., separators or dehydrators or compressors at gas and oilfield installations, certain components at the large grain elevators) is assessed at a regulated value.
Typically, a residence or use of property that has not been classed as any of the above. The assessment for residential parcel’s less than or equal to three acres represents the average market value for land and improvements (any building(s), structure(s)). For parcels greater than three acres, the assessment includes a minimum of three acres and the residential improvements assessed at market value and any remaining land is assessed at market value unless deemed farmland.
Property Assessment Complaints
You cannot appeal taxes. You can however file a complaint against the assessed value placed on your property.
If you have filed a complaint against your assessment, you must pay the property taxes by the due date to avoid penalties. If a decision on your complaint results in a lower tax levy, the reduction is credited to the roll number and your appeal fee will be refunded.
Prior to filing a complaint, please review the following guides available of the Government of Alberta’s website:
- Guide to Property Assessment and Taxation in Alberta
- Filing a Property Assessment Complaint and Preparing for Your Hearing
Contact our Assessment Department, prior to filing a complaint, with any questions you may have regarding your property assessment.
If, after you have discussed your concerns with the assessment department and still believe your property assessment or any other property is unfair, you may file a written complaint to the clerk of the assessment review board, Pursuant to Section 460 of the Municipal Government Act and Matters Relating to Assessment Complaints Regulation.
Assessment Complaint Procedure
To ensure property owners have a voice in the property assessment system, the Municipal Government Act has set out a complaints and appeals system for property owners who have concerns about their assessment. The process involves filing a complaint with your municipality’s assessment review board. The type of property the complaint is about will determine the type of assessment review board that will hear your complaint. More information can be found on the Government of Alberta’s Property Assessment Complaints and Appeals website page. The property assessment complaint procedure is as follows:
- Complete an Assessment Review Board Complaint Form.
- If applicable, also submit an Assessment Complaints Agent Authorization Form.
- A complaint must explain why the information shown on the property assessment notice is incorrect.
- The Assessment Review Board cannot hear complaints about the amount of the property tax bill or tax rate.
- Complaints regarding Designated Industrial Property Assessments (codes 2, 8, and 106) or Linear Assessment Class (codes 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, and 172) must be submitted to the Municipal Government Board within the time period shown on the notice(s) sent out by the Provincial Assessor.
- The complaint forms must be forwarded to Wheatland County, ATTN: Clerk of the Assessment Review Board.
- Complaints must be received by the “Final Date of Complaint” as stated on the front of this notice.
- Submit appropriate appeal fee (per below) and make cheques payable to Wheatland County (do not send cash).
- Complete an Assessment Review Board Complaint Form.
Fees for Filing a Complaint
As per the Master Schedule of Fees, fees vary depending on the assessment class – please contact our office for verification of fees.
Payment for filing a complaint must be enclosed with the completed complaint form (if mailing) or paid at our office at time of filing. Cheques should be made payable to Wheatland County—please do not mail cash. Assessment complaints must be forwarded to:
Attn: Clerk of Assessment Review Board
Hwy 1 RR 1
Strathmore, AB T1P 1J6
Property assessments are used to calculate the property tax amount. Learn about important due dates and find out what payment options are available.