CRASC delivers useful, reliable, and cost-effective results to our members
How Assessment Works
Data Collection and Maintenance
What is Assessed
What is not Assessed
In Alberta, most property is assessed on the basis of ‘market value’, which is considered to be the most fair and equitable way to assess property. Market value is defined as “price a property might reasonably be expected to sell for if sold by a willing buyer after appropriate time and exposure in an open market.
Three approaches are used to determine a property’s market value:
Direct Sales Comparison
Regulated property is not assessed on market value and instead uses rates and procedures prescribed by Municipal Affairs to calculate assessed values.
Regulated property includes:
Mass appraisal is the process of estimating the value of a group of properties as of a given date using common data, mathematical models, and statistical tests. Mass appraisal focuses on an entire class of properties, not on an individual property. This allows assessors to accurately value a large number of properties in a short period of time.
Once all assessments are completed, the assessment information is uploaded to provincial database (ASSET). Preliminary audit tests are conducted to ensure assessments meet requirements in regulations. Once a passing grade is achieved, assessments can be sent to the municipality.
Municipal Government Act requires an assessment roll, which is a listing of all assessable properties in a municipality and their assessed values, to be produced by February 28 of each year. The assessment roll is open year round for inspection by any taxpayer of the municipality
Assessment notices are sent to property owners to tell them about the assessment of their property. Every property listed on the assessment roll receives an assessment notice, even if it is exempt. The municipality must publish notification in one issue of a local newspaper that notices have been mailed.
Property owners have a right to voice concerns about their assessment and municipalities should encourage property owners to contact their assessor first to discuss the assessment. The Municipal Government Act, section 305, allows the assessor to correct an error in the assessment for the current year only. Upon correction, an amended assessment notice must be sent to the property owner.
A ratepayer may file a complaint with the Assessment Review Board if they are unable to come to an agreement with their assessor. Created, empowered and staffed according to the Municipal Government Act, Assessment Review Boards hear complaints for all types of property assessments except Linear properties. LARB (Local Assessment Review Board) deals with residential and farmland, while CARB (Composite Assessment Review Board) deals with non-residential, multi-family property. Like a Court, these Boards can order something to be done, such as changing an assessment on a property. Member municipalities have the option to administer assessment complaints on their own, or participate in the CRASC joint ARB initiative.