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Business Assessment

Business assessment is a value placed on premises for taxation purposes. Any owner/operator of a Calgary business will be assessed for business tax purposes, regardless of whether one leases or owns the space. Generally, the head lessee will be assessed and taxed for the entire area using a typical net annual rental value.

How are businesses assessed? 

Assessors analyze the net annual rental rates for various types of premises based on the market valuation date of July 1 of the previous year.  Size, type, quality of space, and location are all factors or attributes used to determine the typical net annual rental for premises recognized by the business rental market.

Formal information requests are mailed to property owners and managers each year, and Assessment staff may also conduct interviews with landlords and business tenants to collect information. Typical leasehold improvement allowances are subtracted from the typical net annual rental rate. Based on this analysis, a typical net annual rental rate for each business premises is established.

The typical net annual rental rate is expressed as either a rate per square foot or a rate per unit. The business assessment is determined by multiplying the area or number of units of the business premises used in connection with the business by the typical net annual rental rate per square foot or rate per unit for the type of premises.

Access your information online

The information you need regarding your assessment and premises details is available by logging into Assessment Search. A variety of web tools and resources are available to help you check, review and compare your assessment for fairness and equity.

Business Assessment Notices

There are 4 types of business assessment notices a business owner may receive throughout the assessment/taxation year.

  1. Annual business assessment notice
    • Mailed to every business owner early in January each year.
    • Provides the assessed value of the premises on which business taxes will be based.
  2. Amended business assessment notice
    • An amended business assessment notice is sent to business owners if there is a correction of an error or omission on the business assessment roll for the business. If the amended business assessment notice results in a change to business tax, it will be reflected on the business owner's tax account.
  3. Supplementary business assessment notice 
    • A supplementary business assessment notice is sent to business owners to advise them of the business assessment for the portion of the year that the business is occupying the premises location. A supplementary business tax notice will be mailed separately.
  4. Amended supplementary business assessment notice 
    • An amended supplementary business assessment notice is sent to business owners if there is a correction of an error or omission on the supplementary business assessment notice previously issued. A supplementary business tax notice will be mailed separately.

What to do if there are changes to your business premises  

It is your responsibility to advise Assessment as soon as possible if there are any changes to your business premises as those changes could impact your assessment and your taxes.

  • Call us at 403-268-2888 if you:
    • Increase or decrease the area of the premises occupied or used for the purpose of, or in connection with a business. 
  • Contact Business Registration or if you:
    • Start or cease to operate a business.
    • Move to a new premises or open a new premises, and/or branches of an existing business.
    • Temporarily operate a business.
    • Change ownership or trade names.
    • Change your mailing address.

What to do if you don’t agree with your assessment

If you don’t think your assessed value is an accurate reflection of what the typical net annual rental value would be for your premises as of July 1 of the previous year, contact us during the Customer Review Period. The Customer Review Period is held for 60 days following the mailing of the assessment notices each January.

Changes to your business assessment will only be considered if an inquiry is received during the Customer Review Period.

How business assessment relates to taxes 

Council decides what budget The City needs in the coming year. Then, using the total city-wide assessed business base, Council sets the tax rate to bring in only the funds it needs from business tax.

Tax rate = City budgetary needs ÷ Total assessed value of all Calgary businesses

Assessment = Typical net annual rental value

Your share of business tax is calculated by multiplying the assessed value of your premises with the business tax rate.

Individual business tax = business assessment x business tax rate

What your business taxes support

Your business taxes support the delivery of key City services that sustain our vibrant, healthy city and great communities, including: transit, protective services, land use planning and policy, recreation, parks and much more.

Business tax exemptions  

The City of Calgary recognizes the valuable societal contribution of business owners by including in its Business Tax Bylaw specific classes of business that are eligible for exemption from business taxes. Visit Business Tax Exemptions for information about how to apply for an exemption.

Business tax consolidation 

Business tax revenues are being transferred to and collected through the non-residential property tax. This process – Business Tax Consolidation is occurring through incremental transfers over a seven-year period that will result in the elimination of the business tax in 2019.