Alerts:

- October 20, 2017

Assessment & Property Taxes

Understanding Your Assessment

Confused about the assessment process? The language of assessment can be very confusing. For a simple explanation of how your assessment is prepared, what the numbers mean, and how your taxes are calculated, please see the questions below:

Why is an Assessor visiting my property?

In order to properly assess property, the Assessment Department needs to collect accurate property data. When an Assessor visits your property, he/she is simply collecting data and classifying your property- valuations are not done during inspections.

An Assessor will visit all properties that have had changes in the current year. Assessors will also re-inspect every property in the County on a five year rotation.

Having an Assessor visit your property can be a good opportunity for you to confirm that the assessment data is correct. Assessors will be more than happy to review any of your assessment information with you.

Do I have to allow an Assessor onto my property?

You may refuse access to the Assessor, although legislation gives the Assessor specific authority to inspect your property and/or to request anything that is necessary to assist in the assessment. You must provide the information that is necessary to assess your property. Usually, if an inspection is refused, the Assessor will attempt to update your information by estimating details from outside your property. By denying access to an Assessor, you may lose the right to appeal your assessment through the Assessment Review Board. Also, the assessor or the municipality may apply for a Court of Queen's Bench Order for inspection to be allowed.

Why has the assessed value of my residential or commercial property increased?

There are several reasons why your assessment may have increased:

  • If the property values have increased in your area, the assessment will be adjusted to properly reflect the new value of your property;
  • Any physical change to the property that would increase the market value will increase the assessment.(ie. New building, addition, etc.);
  • If your previous property assessment did not accurately reflect market value, an adjustment may have been made to correct this.

How do I know if my assessment is accurate?

You should first attempt to determine the value of your property as of July 1st of the previous year. This can be done by looking at comparable sales, or speaking with an appraiser or real estate agent. Once you have an idea of the market value, you can compare that with your assessed value. You can also compare your property assessment with the assessments of similar properties. This information is available at the County office. Please feel free to call an Assessor for assistance with obtaining comparable property information.

What is the MVC Assessment Subdivision Policy?

Under the direction of the Province of Alberta’s Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation, land is assessed at market value unless farming operations cause the assessor to apply farm land assessment rates.

In Mountain View County:

  • New subdivisions are assessed first from the office, using ownership change information from the Southern Alberta Land Titles Office.
  • Because inspections are not made by the staff who place the new parcels on the assessment roll, certain assumptions are made in the new assessments.
  • If the parent parcel is assessed at market value, the newly subdivided parcel will be assessed at market value.
  • If the parent parcel has farmland assessment, and the newly subdivided parcel is owned by the same owner, the new parcel will be assessed as farmland, except where the new parcel is less than one acre in size. Legislation states that such parcels must be assessed at market value.
  • If the new parcel is improved with a residence, or residences, three acres of land and the residence(s) will be assessed at market value. The remaining land on the parcel will be assessed as farmland.
  • If the newly subdivided parcel has been sold, and it is less than ten acres in size, it will be assessed at market value.
  • Larger parcels sold from a parent farmland parcel will be assessed as farmland, vacant or improved.
  • The status of the new parcel(s) will be inspected during the upcoming assessment cycle. Changes to status will be made as necessary. However, if Assessment Services receives information before that next inspection that the parcel is being used for farming operations, farmland assessment can be applied.
  • If you have subdivided land, talk to Assessment Services about the use of your land during the assessment year, and whether the new property should be assessed as farmland or not.
  • Changes to the County Assessment Roll are made in the "Assessment Year". These changes include subdivisions of land. In the next calendar year, annual assessment notices are sent out. The status of the land can be clarified and the assessment adjusted in the 60 day inquiry/appeal period. Parcels assessed at market value that have been used for farming operations in the assessment year can have farmland assessment applied.

Why does the County Ask About My Sale Price?

Following the sale of properties, the Assessment Services office inquires about the sales for the purpose of finding mass appraisal values for the next assessment and for the purpose of assessing each property correctly according to Provincial Legislation.

The Assessment Services office sends out three forms that request assisting information for the assessment of property:

  1. The Sale Confirmation Form clarifies the circumstances of the sale to tell the assessor if the sale price is a useable indicator of value for the next assessment year. The Province of Alberta has set Market Value by Mass Appraisal as the standard of assessment for real property. The market value portion of each property assessment is derived from real estate sale prices.
  2. The Statement of Agricultural Land Form tells the assessor whether the parcel should have a farmland assessment. If the land is:

            1) being used in a manner that is recognized as farming operations in the Matters Relating to Assessment and Taxation Regulation,

                 2) used by the owner or another operator, either of whom is recognized as a farmer by the Assessor, it is valued at provincially regulated rates based on its ability to produce farm income.

The assessment that comes from these rates is NOT market value.

3. The Statement of Agricultural Buildings Form tells the assessor if the residence on the parcel is eligible for tax exemption coming from farmland assessment on the owner's lands in other Alberta municipalities.

What assessment information is available to me?

The assessed value and tax total of any property in the County is available to you. You can look at this information provided you have the legal description of the property. This information is available on a computer that is located in the main hall of the County office, and can be used by anyone during County business hours.
If you would like more detailed information about the assessment of your property, an Assessor can provide it to you at anytime.
Owner information is protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and is not available.

What can I do if I disagree with my assessment?

First, please give a call to our Assessment Department (403-335-3311 or toll free 877-264-9754) to discuss your concerns, or send an email to the following individuals

Residential/ Commercial/ Industrial- Please contact Mike Kreiger - mkrieger@mvcounty.com

Oil and Gas- Please contact Gord Johnston -  gjohnston@mvcounty.com

All of the above- Please contact Steve Nedoshytko - snedoshytko@mvcounty.com

If there is valid evidence that your assessment information is not correct, we will update it immediately. Our staff would be pleased to answer any questions you may have, and we will make every effort to address your concerns.

If, after the Assessment Department has explained your assessment, and you still have unresolved issues, you may file a complaint with the Assessment Review Board (ARB). It must be filled within 60 days from the date your assessment notice was mailed which is on your assessment notice. The ARB has the authority to review your assessment and make amendments when appropriate. The ARB is can hear evidence as to whether your property is assessed accurately and on an equitable basis with similar properties. Please note that taxes cannot be appealed to the Assessment Review Board.

Fees for Complaints are:

  • Residential / Farmland Per parcel - $50.00
  • Commercial / Industrial (based on assessment value)
  • Less than $500,000 Per parcel - $100.00
  • $500,000 - $999,999 Per parcel - $300.00
  • $1,000,000 - $4,999,999 Per parcel - $500.00
  • $5,000,000 and over Per parcel - $650.00

Assessment complaints must be accompanied with the above fee otherwise they will not be considered a valid assessment complaint. If an assessment complaint is successful the complaint fee will be refunded.

Provincial legislation outlines how property assessment complaints must be made. The complaint must be submitted on an approved Assessment Review Board Complaint Form.

Taxes are payable on or before September 15th, regardless of any assessment under complaint.

  • A complaint must be in writing.
  • A complaint must explain why the complainant thinks that the information shown on the assessment notice is incorrect.
  • A complaint must include the mailing address of the complainant.
  • A complaint cannot be accepted after the "Final Date for Complaint". (Found on the top left corner of your assessment notice)
  • A complaint must be addressed to the attention of the "Clerk of the Assessment Review Board" and mailed to the County address (Mountain View County, PO Bag 100, Didsbury, Alberta, T0M 0W0.

All residential properties are Provincially legislated to be assessed on the basis of market value. Market value is defined by the International Association of Assessing Officers as:

"The most probable price (in terms of money) which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby:

  • The buyer and seller are typically motivated.
  • Both parties are well informed or well advised, and acting in what they consider their best interests.
  • A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market.
  • The price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale".

Each year the Assessment Department examines recent sales of properties within the County. Before a sale is used in the assessment analysis, it is carefully researched to ensure that it is an accurate market value transaction. These sales are then used as indicators for the formation of market value assessments for all properties.

The valuation date for all residential properties is July 1st of the previous year. This means that the assessed value of residential property represents the most probable selling price of the property as of July 1st, of the previous year.

Farm land is not assessed at market value. Farm land is valued using a provincially "regulated assessment" base rate which is currently $350 per acre for 100% land. This is decreased for land characteristics that reduce the ability of the land to produce income from farming operations.

The Rural Assessment Policy (RAP) allows a residence on farmland to be exempt from assessment, in whole or in part, based on the total accumulated assessed value of the qualifying farmland held by the farmer/rancher. The exemption applies only to land in Alberta owned by the farmer/rancher or leased from the Crown or from a municipality. Land that is privately leased does not qualify for an exemption. The maximum exemption is $61,540 for the first residence and $30,770 for other residences on a farm. These exemptions are monitored, updated and applied by the Assessment Department, and are shown on the assessment / tax notice in Mountain View County as "FIRST RES EXEMPTION" and "ADDNL RES EXEMPTION".

 

In order to qualify for farm status, the requirements set out in the following legislation must be met:

 

Excerpt from Alberta Regulation 220/2004- Municipal Government Act:

1. (i) "farming operations" means the raising, production and sale of agricultural products and includes
(i) horticulture, aviculture, apiculture and aquiculture
(ii) the production of livestock as defined in the Livestock and Livestock Products Act, and
(iii) the planting, growing and sale of sod.

Excerpt from Livestock and Livestock Products Act R.S.A.2000:

1. (e) "livestock" means horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, fur-bearing animals raised in captivity, domestic cervids within the meaning of the Livestock Industry Diversification Act, live poultry and bees.
If you believe you should be receiving farm status please contact the Assessment Department to complete a farm status declaration.Farm land is not assessed at market value. Farm land is valued using a provincially "regulated assessment" base rate which is currently $350 per acre for 100% land. This is decreased for land characteristics that reduce the ability of the land to produce income from farming operations.

Commercial and industrial properties are considered to be any land or building or portion of a building that have a commercial or industrial use. The buildings and structures portion of commercial and industrial property is assessed at market value.

The calculation of market value of these properties is based on recent market sales, costing analysis, and reported costs.

Machinery and Equipment that is used for processing or manufacturing is assessed at the stipulated regulatory level. Some examples of this would be gas and oilfield installations, gas plants, seed cleaning facilities, etc.

In the province of Alberta, the linear property assessment is a regulated valuation process conducted by Municipal Affairs on behalf of municipalities.

Linear properties include pipelines, wells, electric power systems, electric power generation, telecommunications systems and cable distribution undertakings.  Regulated valuation means there is  legislation that provides the definitions, the process for preparation, as well as the calculation formulas to determine an assessment.

The assessment process uses information from regulators such as the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) or the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and applies a rate to the length of a pipeline, a power line or a telephone line; or to the depth of a well to determine its assessment. Electric power generation is assessed based on the adjusted, actual project cost.

In mid to late Spring of each year, Mountain View County residents will receive a combined Assessment / Tax Notice, which indicates the value of property they own, and the amount of taxes to be paid on that property.

Property taxes are due in full by September 15 of the same year. A late penalty charge of two per cent monthly will apply after this date starting September 15, 2017.

Tax rates cannot be appealed, however, individual assessment notices can be appealed. Please see Assessment FAQ's in this menu for more information on Assessment Appeal.

How do I order a Tax Certificate?

Tax Certificate requests can be submitted to the County Tax Department via fax 403-335-9207 or emailed to info@mvcounty.com.

For questions or concerns regarding your tax account balance or how to remit a payment please contact the County Tax Department at 403-335-3311 ext 156 or 181.


There are a number methods available to ratepayers for payment of taxes:


Monthly Pre-Authorized Payment Plan - Mountain View County offers a monthly payment option. If you sign up after January 31st a lump sum payment will be required. The amount of the lump sum payment is equal to the amount that would have been paid had you been enrolled in the Tax Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) program since January.

Questions?

  • For more details on how the monthly payment plan works refer to the Tax Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) Application or contact the County Tax Department at 403-335-3311 extension 156.

How do you Sign-up?

You will need to complete the Tax Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) Application form and include a void cheque. Your tax notice will show your monthly payment amounts.

You can download the application form here: Tax PAD (Word) | Tax PAD (PDF)

You can mail, fax (403 335-9207), or drop your application by the County Office.


Electronically - You can pay your County bills over the phone, or via the internet, through your own bank.

Getting started is easy. Three simple steps and you're underway:

  1. You will need your bank card, password, either the phone number or internet address listed below and the amount of your bill
  2. Once you have connected to your bank, just follow the simle steps your bank will walk you through
  3. The first time you pay a Mountain View County bill, you will need your Customer Number from your bill (it starts with a "C" for a regular account or "T" in the case of a Tax Notice)

Electronic payment also includes Mountain View Regional Waste Management Commission (MVRWC). Follow the same steps as above but be sure to choose the appropriate payee (eg. MVRWC instead of the County). Your MVRWC account number begins with a "W".

Note: Pre-registration is required if you do not currently use electronic banking services. Just phone the Customer Service number for your bank to get started.

Participating Banks include:

  • Royal Bank 1-800-769-2511
  • Bank of Montreal 1-800-363-9992
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)1-800-465-2422
  • Scotia Bank 1-800-267-1234
  • Alberta Treasury Branch 1-800-661-9619
  • Alberta Credit Unions 1-800-307-8353
  • TD Canada Trust 1-866-222-3456

Mail - Send a cheque to Mountain View County, Postal Bag 100, Didsbury Alberta, TOM OWO


In person - Visit the County office during regular office hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday); located at 1408 Twp. Rd. 320.