Every year at this time we talk about taxes, the way we calculate our taxes in Alberta can be very confusing it takes a lot of time and effort to fully understand the process.
The taxpayers here over all are in a position this year of having no additional tax dollars taken out of their pockets than last year. Unfortunately that does not mean that nobody received a tax increase this year I will explain.
Tax rates in Alberta are set by the combination of two factors "Marketplace Assessment and Mill rate", each year our Assessor must determine the Assessment value of our whole community. He does that by factoring in the values of properties sold in the market place for the last twelve months. Due to the markets some years single family residential homes may be in demand, other years condos, country residential etc etc. In a nut shell values go up and down, and sometimes in some areas more or less than others.
This year our total municipal assessment base dropped 4% now to bring in the same amount of taxation dollars as last year the mill rate had to increase 4%.
So assuming that your property dropped in value the average 4% with an increased mill rate of 4% you would pay the same taxes as last year.
Some examples (Numbers may not totally equal due to rounding)
2013-$200,000 home x mill rate of 9.130963 that would equal $1826
2014-$192,000 home (4% drop) x mill rate of 9.4954 that would equal $1823
Virtually the same as 2013
Why did my taxes go up? I will use my own assessment as an example.
2013-$307,000 home x mill rate of 9.130963 that would equal $2803
2014-$303,000 home x mill rate of 9.4954 that would equal $2877 my taxes went up $74 why because my property only dropped in value by 1%.
Then I will give you an example of a person who's value went down more than the 4%.
2013-$155,000 home x mill rate of 9.130693 that would equal $1415
2014-$146,000 home x mill rate of 9.4954 that would equal $1386 their taxes dropped by $29 because their value dropped more than the 4%
I hope I have explained this process, I understand it is complicated but in the simplest terms I can explain. The mill rate increased 4% if your property value decreased the average 4% your taxes stayed the same, if your value decreased less than 4% your taxes went up. If you value decreased by more than 4% your taxes went down.
Note: If you are really interested in the whole process of market place assessment you should read the following http://mgareview.alberta.ca/wp-content/upLoads/media/Market-Value-Assessment-and-Administration-Discussion-Paper.pdf
It is a little technical but it does fully explain the process, if you still have questions or concerns contact the Assessor Glen Snelgrove at 562-8833.