Assessment Services

Property assessment is the process of assigning a dollar value to a property for taxation purposes. In Alberta property is taxed based on the ad valorem principle. Ad valorem means “according to value.” This means that the amount of tax paid is based on the value of the property.

Often the terms “assessment” and “taxation” are considered to be interchangeable. However, assessment and taxation are very different. Although one impacts the other, each is a distinct and independent process.

“Assessment” is the process of estimating a dollar value on a property for taxation purposes. This value is used to calculate the amount of taxes that will be charged to the owner of the property. “Taxation” is the process of applying a tax rate to a property’s assessed value to determine the taxes payable by the owner of that property.

Market Value Assessments

Market value means 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. Market value assessments are done using mass appraisal, which determines property value by looking at similar properties at a specific date. The specific assessment valuation date is July 1 of previous year of taxation.

The purpose of assessment is not to reflect a single sale price, but to assess all properties at typical market value at the same valuation date. This is to ensure the equitable distribution of taxes for all property in Mountain View County. 

Regulated Value Assessments

Regulated value is based on rates established by Municipal Affairs, Assessment Services Branch.  They are published in the Alberta Farmland Assessment Manual, Alberta Machinery and Equipment Assessment Manual and the Alberta Linear Property Assessment Manual. 

Mountain View County employs qualified, accredited assessors who assess properties based on provincial legislation and regulations. Assessors can be contacted anytime to discuss your assessment and the assessment process.

Questions about assessment? 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:

Notification of Access

Please take notice: Under the authority of the Municipal Government Act, Part 9, Mountain View County’s Assessors regularly visit properties throughout the municipality to collect and verify the information for the purpose of preparing property assessments. An inspection may occur at any time throughout the day between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. Our assessors carry Municipal Photo Identification and will present it upon request. If you have questions or concerns please contact the County Administration Office at 403-335-3311.

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

  1. 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:

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

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.

Farmland is not assessed at market value. Farmland 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 203/2017 - Municipal Government Act:

2. (f) "farming operations" means the raising, production and sale of agricultural products and includes
(i) horticulture, aviculture, apiculture and aquaculture

(ii) the raising, production and sale of

(A) horses, cattle, bison, sheep, swine, goats or other livestock,

(B) fur-bearing animals raised in captivity,

(C) domestic cervids within the meaning of the Domestic Cervid Industry Regulation (AR 188/2014), or

(D) domestic camelids,

(iii) the planting, growing and sale of sod, and

(iv) an operation on a parcel of land for which a woodland management plan has been approved by the Woodlot Association of Alberta or a forester registered under Regulated Forestry Profession Act for the production of timber primarily marketed as whole logs, seed cones or Christmas trees, but does not include any operation or activity on land that has been stripped for the purposed of, or in a manner tha leaves the land more suitable for, future development.

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, railway, 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.