Sturgeon County - Assessment Services FAQ
X

Understanding Your Property Assessment FAQsUnderstanding Your Property Assessment FAQs

Every year, all properties in Alberta and Sturgeon County are issued a formal property assessment. The assessment represents a property’s estimated market value on July 1st taking into account its condition on December 31st of the year prior to the current tax year. This assessment value also determines the property owner’s share of service delivery costs incurred by the municipality.

Unique for 2020:
2020 is a unique year given COVID19 with our tax deferral option where tax payers if needed, can defer their municipal taxpayers for 2020 taxes from the last business day in June to August 31 without penalty. This is effectively, a two-month deadline extension.
 


This annual process is set out by the Municipal Government Act and other relevant regulations. Throughout the year, all property transfers (sales) are tracked and analyzed by local assessors. This information is then inputted into mass appraisal processes and statistical models to determine the value of a specific property. This valuation methodology is required by law and results are audited by the province.

The use, size, location, age, quality, and condition of a property are some of the major characteristics that affect an assessment. For rural properties (out of a subdivision) the assessment typically includes all improvement and a minimum of three acres of land plus the value of any farmland on the parcel. The way a parcel is used (i.e. residential or non-residential) determines its taxation. 
 


Simply, tax assessment rates are based on market values. Each year, new sales information is added to valuation models. When properties in your neighbourhood or market area sold for higher values than your previous assessment, your new assessment will reflect an increase in value and have a corresponding effect on your taxes. An increase in taxes is also possible if the general market value has dropped but your neighborhood or your home value has not decreased as much as the average decrease in the County. 


Tax rates are set by Council and are applied equally to all properties based on their use (residential, non-residential, machinery and equipment, etc.).

  • Assessed values take the age, quality, condition and use of the property into account. Since no two properties are identical, any variance in the above factors will affect how your property is valued and respectively taxed. (R) (S)
  • Assessments are based on the available descriptive data of a home. Owners are encouraged to review this information and discuss any discrepancies with assessors. (R) (S)
  • Rural properties receive exemptions based on the amount of farmland owned. These exemptions may vary from one parcel to another. It is important to note that exemptions are not automatically applied and should be discussed with your local assessor. (R)
  • Buildings on rural parcels are often exempted from taxes if they are being used for farming operations. Farm building exemptions vary between parcels and directly affect how a parcel is taxed. These exemptions are not automatically applied and should be discussed with your local assessor. (R)


Your property characteristics are measured against other properties that have sold, to calculate a market value. Characteristics such as location, age, size, quality, and others are all considered. You can confirm your property characteristics or compare other properties, by using our Sturgeon Gateway Property Viewer.

Alternatively, an Assessor is available to answer your questions via phone at 780-939-0601.


Tax rates are determined based on the financial budgetary requirements to deliver services for County residents. A simplified tax rate calculation is illustrated as follows: 

Budget requirements divided by the assessment base

=

The tax rate.


Property taxes fund the delivery of most services in a municipality such as protective services, family and community services, transportation (examples: road maintenance and buildings), planning and development, as well as general operations.  In Sturgeon County, one cent of every dollar collected is also directed towards the County’s Seniors Housing Foundation. Municipalities also collect the provincial Education Tax that funds Alberta’s provincial education system.

Breakdown for Every Property Tax Dollar ($1.00)

  Residential Tax Dollar Non-Residential Tax Dollar
Sturgeon County services, programs and administration 0.59 .074
Sturgeon County Seniors Foundation 0.01 0.01
Provincial Education Tax 0.40 0.25
Per Property Tax Dollar $1.00 $1.00


   
 


The education portion of property taxes is set by the Government of Alberta. Sturgeon County is responsible for the collection of this predetermined amount. The education property tax is pooled into the Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) and then distributed among Alberta’s public and separate school boards on an equal per-student basis.


All property owners pay the education property tax (with some exceptions, such as some non-profit organizations and seniors’ lodge facilities). People who rent or lease property may also contribute indirectly through their monthly rent or lease payments. As the education system benefits all Albertans, people without children in school also pay the education property tax.


If you are concerned with the information stated on your assessment notice, we encourage you to use the following resources to receive answers to any assessment-related questions you might have.

Online resources

Our website (Sturgeon Gateway Property Viewer) gives you access to reports on physical characteristics and assessment details of your property and sales information of properties similar to yours

One-on-one support

 If you’ve come across an error in your assessment notice, contact us first. Most assessment-related concerns can be resolved by speaking with an assessor —with no formal complaint fees required. Call: 780.939.0601 Email: assessmentservices@sturgeoncounty.ca

Formal complaint

If you disagree with your property's assessment, you can file a formal complaint with the Assessment Review Board. For detailed information, please refer to ‘Assessment Complaint Process’. Remember that your duly completed complaint form and filing fee must be received by the Assessment Review Board no later than the deadline date indicated on your assessment notice. Complaints received by the Assessment Review Board after the deadline date will not be heard.

All complaints are sent to the clerk of the Assessment Review Board for Sturgeon County. For more information, please refer to the ‘How to file a complaint’ information package.


Supplementary assessments provide equity amongst property owners by capturing the increased value of properties that were only partially completed on December 31, of the year prior to the current tax year, and have since become completed or occupied. The value gained is applied on a prorated basis and applies only when new construction is completed, occupied, or when a project begins its operational function during the current tax year.

When new construction is completed or becomes occupied, the owners receive municipal services and the supplementary assessment contributes towards equitable distribution of the costs to provide those services.

An example scenario: the annual assessment for a 60% completed home on December 31 is $100,000 and an assessor inspects on May 15th, determines the home is lived in or completed, and its completed value is $160,000. Then the homeowner will receive a supplementary assessment for $60,000 from June 1 to Dec 31 of the current tax year where the owner would be responsible for a prorated assessment of $35,000 [($60k/12) * (7 months) = $35,000] and would pay taxes on that assessment amount.


Have a question?Have a question?

Didn't find what you were looking for in the FAQs? We've got more answers.

Submit an Assessment Inquiry