Suburbs see a larger share of Calgary’s tax burden in latest city assessment

Space requirements, no commute mean suburbs have increased in value, city assessor said

City of Calgary overhead view of the skyline - Dec. 31, 2018. DARREN KRAUSE / LIVEWIRE CALGARY

The Covid-19 pandemic has shifted more of the residential tax burden to suburban-living Calgarians, according to the city’s tax assessor.

Details on Calgary’s 2022 property assessment roll were delivered Wednesday, showing an increase in the overall value of Calgary properties. The total value of nearly 560,000 assessed properties in Calgary increased from $297 billion in 2021 to $313.5 billion in 2022.

Property assessment notices are now in the mail.

The typical residential property market value change increased by six per cent, city assessor Eddie Lee said.  The typical non-residential property value declined by five per cent.

The values are based on a July 1, 2021 market value assessment and physical condition on Dec. 31, 2021.

“Calgary’s real estate market, as of July 1, 2021, reflected a hot residential market-driven in part by demand for more space in the face of pandemic regulations and restrictions,” Lee said.  

“For non-residential, not surprisingly the office sector continued to decline with persistent high vacancy while retail and industrial markets held relatively stable.”  

The median value for a single residential home is $485,000 for 2022. That’s compared to $445,000 in 2021.  The median condominium value stayed the same at $235,000.

If a Calgary home increased in value by more than the six per cent, they will see a greater tax bill increase than the council approved 3.87 per cent. If it’s less than six per cent they will see a lesser tax increase than the council approved amount.  That’s how the city’s revenue-neutral tax system works.

Pandemic desire for space

Lee said the pandemic influenced the value of homes on Calgary’s periphery. The typical suburban home jumped 10 per cent in value, while the inner city homes rose three per cent, he said.

“We are seeing the more desire for more space and as more people are working more from home and just in general spending more time at home,” he said.

Lee also said that commute times weren’t as much of an issue because more people worked at home.

Condo prices have been somewhat suppressed because there just isn’t as much space, Lee said.

With the increasing need for storage and distribution space, Lee said the value of warehouse space has continued to rise in Calgary.

Some retail has seen a slight recovery, but not all. Less traffic in retail areas like the downtown has suppressed those values. Grocery stores and large format retail have seen increases.

The downtown

Lee said the overall office market in the downtown decreased 10 per cent.  He said some of the premier double A office space fared slightly better.

“We are seeing a flight to quality where tenants are moving from lower quality office towers into some of those premier towers,” he said.

The hotel and motel property values continue to plummet, with an overall drop of roughly 14 per cent, Lee said.

Calgary small and medium businesses have suffered under the dwindling value of downtown office space in recent years.  Due to the revenue-neutral system, the city still needs to recoup the decline in value by increasing substantially more in other areas to cover it.

That spurred the shift in tax burden from non-residential to residential nearly three years ago.

The customer review period is now open. You can access that information through the city's website.

You may also want to try out their property tax calculator.

About Darren Krause 1054 Articles
Journalist, husband, father, golfer, writer, painter, video gamer, gardener, amateur botanist, dreamer, realist... never in that order.

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