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How your Calgary home is assessed and the info you need to appeal

Now that City of Calgary property assessments are mailed, the customer (You) review period is now open.

From Jan. 2 to March 10, Calgary homeowners can review property details and, if desired, make a submission to have their property value adjusted.

On Thursday, the City of Calgary mailed out property assessments to more than 544,000 clients on their assessment roll. The typical Calgary homeowner saw a drop of roughly four per cent to their home value, when compared with their 2019 assessments.

Should you be mulling a review of your home’s property value, here’s some information you can use to get you moving.

How is your assessment determined?

According to city assessor, Nelson Karpa, the city collects a range of data, including on-site property inspections, home sales data and other property information. Then that data is analyzed.

“At the end of the day, the assessment process is really just all about looking at what the market did,” said Karpa.

“The assessment process in and of itself doesn’t manufacture the market, we just simply hold the foil to the market and try our best to understand what the market did over the last year.”

Once the city comes up with its preliminary values for a given year, they put it through a data verification analysis process.

For non-residential properties, they work with property owners and agents to ensure the property values are reflective of the actual market.

The assessments are then subject to provincial audit.

“There’s a number of statistical tests that the Province of Alberta performs to make sure that assessments are fair and equitable,” Karpa said.

The City of Calgary map shows where property values have increased or decreased over the past year. DARREN KRAUSE / LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Also, the assessed value isn’t a tax increase or decrease in and of itself. The assessment process is what Karpa called a “distribution mechanism.”

When the typical residential (or non-residential) change is determined, properties are then compared against that value to determine whether a homeowner will pay more or less property tax.

(Example: This year typical home values decreased four per cent. If your home decreased by four per cent, as the market did, then you would theoretically pay no additional property tax. This year, with council decisions on the tax rate and the tax shift, homeowners that moved by this amount will still pay higher property taxes. If your home increased in value, then you will pay more property tax based on market assessment, plus the additional from tax rates and the tax shift.)

Prepping for an appeal of Calgary property assessment

The City of Calgary’s online portal provides a lot of information and flexibility for Calgary homeowners to make their case for changes to the assessed value.

At the city’s assessment page, homeowners can find much of the information used to build their property’s current assessed value.

Information you can access:

  • Historical assessment values
  • Sales history of homes in your area
  • Ability to compare homes and their features
  • Overview of entire communities
  • Online map showing assessment values

New this year, Calgary property owners can submit property changes online to reflect any major alterations over the past year.

Through the customer review period, Calgarians can call the City of Calgary at 403-268-8888 for information on their home or to ask further questions about their assessment.