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Action Plan 2015-2018: Property Taxes

Property tax 2015

Council has approved the 2015 Property Tax Bylaw, which sets the final approved 2015 property tax rate.

Where do your tax dollars go?

In 2015, the municipal portion of the typical annual residential tax bill is $1,682 (based on a median single family residential property assessed at $475,000). This means, in 2015, the typical Calgary household will pay $140 per month in municipal property taxes to support the delivery of major services that Calgarians count on every day.

How your property tax dollars will be spent each month in 2018*

$160.90 per month is what a median household will pay to receive tax-supported City services in 2018. Approximately 40 per cent of property taxes collected go to the province and 60 per cent to The City.

 How your property tax dollars will be spent each month in 2018

Estimate monthly impact of property tax and selected rate increases on typical Calgary household

$1,931 median residential property tax bill (2018 municipal portion) representing an annual increase in the average residential property tax of $6.65 per month from 2015-2018.

2015 2016 2017 2018
​Property tax (based on 2014 Assessment of $430,000) $5.95
​Utilities (water, wastewater, drainage) ​$8.70 ​$9.60 ​$10.60 ​$11.80
​Waste & Recycling ​$0.20 ​$0.20
​Total ​$14.85 ​$16.40 ​$24.15

*As approved within Action Plan 2015-2018, by Calgary City Council on December 1, 2014, for the Green Cart program. Property tax estimates are based on 2014 median residential assessment of $430,000.

How are property tax rates established?

Each year, Council approves services and projects to be achieved the following year, and the corresponding budget. This work is prioritized and analyzed cross-corporately, using citizen information, legislative requirements, long range plan goals, market conditions, along with estimated costs, including salaries and wages.

This is approved by Council to ensure The City has the resources required to support the delivery of City services.

Revenue sources other than property tax, such as business tax, licence fees, user fees and provincial grants are subtracted from the prioritized service expenditures, and the balance is supported by your property tax. Tax rates are established each year to calculate the property tax and reflect the amount of taxes to be paid for every dollar of assessed value.

How does Calgary compare?

Calgary has one of the lowest residential property taxes and is low to average in comparison when utilities are included. According to a 2013 Residential Property Taxes and Utility Charges Survey, Calgary in 2013 had some of the lowest municipal property taxes among 13 major Canadian municipalities.


Why do my property taxes increase even with more people moving to Calgary?

New Calgarians do pay property taxes, either through property tax or rent, but the challenge for Calgary is that before new citizens come here, The City has had to pay to build necessary infrastructure to support the new housing developments. This infrastructure includes water and waste-water, electricity and natural gas, roads, street lighting, etc. All Calgarians rely on City services and, understandably, more citizens mean an increased demand on services including transit, parks, roads and recreation. Therefore, as Calgary continues to rapidly grow, The City must invest in new infrastructure as well as expand current services to ensure that Calgarians are getting the services they want and need. What this means is that The City is not able to address these increasing needs even with additional user fees (e.g. transit fares, licensing fees), grants from other orders of government, and the additional property tax revenue from new Calgarians. So, our property taxes increase even as new people come to Calgary because that is the source of revenue available to The City to close the gap between needed services and operational expenses.

Did you know?

The Alberta Municipal Government Act requires Council to adopt a balanced operating budget.

The City works hard to ensure citizens have the services they want and need within our spending limits. Research, including the Citizen Satisfaction Survey and Action Plan Citizen Engagement, continue to demonstrate that Calgarians are very satisfied with the services and level of service they receive.

What does The City’s portion of your property tax pay for?

Services that you use every day!

  • On the road – construction and maintenance of pedestrian pathways and roads; streetlights and traffic control; street cleaning and snow clearing; and public transit.
  • In your community – police, fire and emergency services; youth programs; planning for the future of new and existing communities; recreation and arts programs, events and festivals; wellness initiatives; and bylaw services.
  • In your city – maintenance of public spaces; disaster response services; protection of historical resources.
  • In the environment – the collection of garbage from our homes; climate change action; and the care and management of parks and green spaces.
  • Other essential services provide citizens access to information through 311; operate and maintain City facilities; and ensure planning and resources are in place to build a great city.

Some services are not paid for by property taxes but by user fees. For example: In your home, services such as clean, quality drinking water, and recycling are all services with user fees attached. In other cases, it’s a combination, such as public transit which is funded by both taxes and user fees.