The Town has started mailing more than 2,200 property assessment notices, providing Banff property owners with important information about what to expect in their property tax bill coming this spring.
The delivery of notices opens the Assessment Review Period, giving property owners until April 5, 2022, to call the Town about their property’s assessed value, ask for changes or submit an appeal.
Property assessment notices help to determine the amount of tax each Banff property owner will pay this year to help pay for the level of services set in the Town’s budget, which was passed January 26.
If you are a property owner, once you have your assessment notice in hand, you should follow these three steps:
☑️ Review the details on your assessment notice to confirm property information is correct
☑️ Consider what is used to assess your property's value (also refer to banff.ca/assessment)
☑️ Confirm that the assessed value appears fair for your property (use online listing)
The list of all properties in Banff and their assessed values is available at https://banff.ca/propertyvalues. This can be helpful to compare your property with other properties of similar size, age, condition and location.
“Assessment values determine each property owner’s fair share of property taxes, so it is important that owners review their assessments for accuracy,” said Chris Hughes, Director of the Town of Banff’s Corporate Services. “We would like property owners to contact us if they have any questions, as the best time to address any concerns is now. Once tax notices are mailed out in June, it will be too late to make any changes.”
Every year, the Town’s contracted property assessor examines Banff’s real estate market, and assesses each residential property based on the probable value it would have sold for on the open market on July 1, 2021. The assessor uses similar criteria that real estate agents use when pricing a home for sale, such as age, condition, size, location and records of all sales for the area.
If a property owner has questions about their assessment, they are encouraged to call the Town at 403.762.1230 and ask to speak to the assessor, before submitting a formal appeal, also called a ‘complaint.’ Many issues can be resolved without an appeal.
If the concerns are not resolved after talking to the assessor, property owners are entitled to submit an appeal by 4:30 p.m. on April 5, 2022. After the end of this Assessment Review Period, property owners cannot appeal the assessment notice, and the tax notices that are mailed in spring cannot be appealed.
Property owners who have not received their assessment notice by February 10 should contact the Town at 403.762.1230 to request their notice.
Residential properties hold value compared to businesses
On average, residential properties increased in value by 4% over the previous year, while commercial properties saw an average of 13% drop in value due to the pandemic impact on business. Hotel and accommodation properties saw an even greater decrease in value.
The average residential dwelling unit (any property with its own dedicated entrance) was valued at $461,100. Based on the Banff budget set January 26, this average home will see the municipal portion of their property tax increase by about $16 per month or an additional $195 for the year. The provincial budget will add Alberta education taxes to each property owners bill.
The budget sets the total amount of property taxes the Town needs to pay for all services and programs. The assessed value of a property determines its share of the total taxes needed. To illustrate, a home valued at $800,000 will pay twice as much in taxes as a home valued at $400,000.
Residential property taxes contribute about 25% of the total taxes needed, while commercial properties pay for about 75% Banff’s costs for services and programs.
But the 4% average increase in residential property values does not equate to a 4% increase in residential property taxes. Residential property owners that saw an assessment value increase similar to the average of 4% will see their property taxes go up about 20%, which was the residential tax increase approved by Town Council on January 26 when they set the budget. This is because the budget increase from 2021 to 2022 requires an increase in taxes to get back to pre-pandemic level of budget expenditures.
Properties that had their assessed value increased more than the average 4% will see property taxes increase more than 20%. For properties that saw their assessed value change less than the average, the property tax will increase less than 20%.
Property tax bills will be mailed in June.
For more information regarding Tax Assessments and Appeals, please visit www.banff.ca/assessment.