We just passed the Federal deadline to submit your personal taxes, and in June Business taxes are due so if you are a business owner, you still have time for that. Another deadline to pay in June is the property tax one. Hence, this week we thought we'd look into our property taxes, how they're calculated and where they go.
Everyone groans at property tax time simply because parting with our hard-earned money is always hard to do. But, there is good reason for these payments. In Alberta, our property taxes are collected both provincially and municipally, where about sixty percent of the collected levy stays within our City and forty percent goes to the Government of Alberta. 'Of The City's total revenue sources for the operating budget, property taxes account for approximately 42 percent.' (City of Calgary 2019). The collective sum is used to fund a variety of things in the City, such as snow removal, street cleaning, street maintenance and repair, garbage collection, management of parks and green spaces, bylaw services, fire, police and emergency services, recreational and arts programs, events and festivals, protection of historical resources and provide access to our 311 information system.
In terms of how our property taxes are calculated, every calendar year, our City council determines what funds are needed to run City services. From this calculation, they then remove revenue sources such as business tax, user fees, provincial grants, and license fees. The amount left over is the amount needed to be raised through property taxes. A tax rate is then established and this is the rate charged for every $1 of assessed property value. For residential homeowners, Council approved a combined (municipal and provincial) 2019 property tax rate increase of 3.45 percent from 2018.
Lastly, when it comes to assessing your property, the notice you receive in January from the City depicts the amount it would have sold for on July 1st the previous year, as well as includes any improvements to its physical condition as of December 31st. Factors such as age, location, additions, lot size, renovations and sales of similar properties in the vicinity over the last three years are included in determining the assessment of your property. You can, of course, challenge the assessment you receive by contacting the City before the start of March of each year.
So, that's your Property Tax bill in a nutshell. As is always the case, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about property taxes and your property. We always enjoy hearing from you!