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Preparing 2021 Property Assessments during COVID-19

The City of Calgary prepares property assessments annually. These are used to determine a fair and equitable share of tax for each property owner. Funds collected through property taxes are split between the Alberta Government and The City of Calgary. COVID-19 has caused challenges for many and so wanted to share our process in more detail with you this year.

Preparing the 2021 Property Assessment Roll during COVID-19

While the COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges, The City continues to work diligently to determine the market value assessment of more than 500,000 Calgary properties for the 2021 Assessment Roll. The City Assessment team reviews real estate data collected from various sources including Alberta Land Titles and from property owners directly. The annual process began with the provincially set valuation date of July 1, 2020.

Even though COVID-19 has brought unique challenges to the process, City Assessment remains confident it can deliver accurate market value assessments for the purpose of equitable tax distribution in January 2021.

Extending assessment timelines to accommodate the impacts of COVID-19

We are extending assessment timelines this year. In doing so, we will ensure the highest quality assessments during these challenging times: 

  • Pre-Roll Consultation Period (Pre-Roll) – To be responsive to the needs of our taxpayers we continue to actively seek input and feedback on the preliminary assessed values. Pre-Roll is a time where non-residential and multi-residential property owners, or their agent representatives, can receive, discuss and exchange information with us before property assessment values are finalized for the coming year. Pre-Roll has been extended by three weeks to allow more time for ongoing conversations on preliminary 2021 assessment values. Normally, this occurs over the month of October, but this year timelines have been extended from Oct. 1, 2020 – Nov. 27, 2020.
  • Annual assessments notices, which are normally mailed within the first week of January, will now be mailed on January 14, 2021 to adjust for the impacts of COVID-19.
  • Customer Review Period – which follows the mailing of the assessment notice, will also begin later running from January 14, 2021 - Mar. 23, 2021.

Analysing the real estate market during COVID-19

Assessment’s early analysis indicates the average residential property owner will see decreases in values in 2021. The biggest change in values may occur within the non-residential class. Assessors are anticipating significant decreases for hotel properties as the tourism industry is one of the hardest hit sectors by COVID-19. Preliminary analysis also shows decreases in retail and office properties, whereas industrial properties are showing increases.

While The City is noting these trends, it is important to remember that now is the time for further analysis. In the coming months, Assessment will be collecting and reviewing more market data information and trends. Assessment has sent over 12,000 direct information requests to non-residential and multi-residential property owners and is awaiting their rental, vacancy, income and detailed sales transaction information. That data will be used to determine preliminary values which will be shared with owners in the fall.

We encourage property owners to go online to Assessment Search and update their property details to ensure the information we are using to determine assessment values remains current.

During the Pre-Roll Consultation Period, City assessors exchange further data and trend information with non-residential and multi-residential property owners and/or their agents before final values are determined and assessment notices are mailed in January.

Keeping up-to-date

Calgary taxpayers are encouraged to stay up-to-date on property assessment and tax related matters. One way to do this is to ensure your detailed property information reflects the current condition of your property.

  • Non-residential, multi-residential, or farmland property owners:

We have sent out more than 12,000 direct information requests to non-residential, multi-residential and farmland property owners and are expecting more information. If you haven’t already responded to the request, please send us your completed forms, reflecting information as close to July 1, 2020 as possible. If you’ve already responded, but you don’t feel that your original response reflects your property’s status as at July 1, 2020, please email us at AssessmentARFI@Calgary.ca with the new information as soon as possible. You can also call us as at 403-268-2888.

An open and collaboration dialogue between Assessment and property owners/agents is valuable, especially during COVID-19.

  • Residential property owners:

Home owners interested in knowing their 2021 property values are encouraged to keep up-to-date by: 

  • Logging on to Assessment Search and review the real estate data on file at The City. You can find more information on how to do this by reviewing the “Verify Your Property Information” section in the Property owner how-to guide.

    • Making sure the information we have on your property is up to date, which you can conveniently access through your Assessment Search account. Access is easy - sign-up for a myID account and begin.
    • The City offers market value real estate information such as the last three years of sales transactions for free to help Calgary property owners better understand property assessments. Access is easy - sign-up for a myID account and begin.
  • Taking a look at the real estate sales information around the July 1 valuation date. Consider looking at MLS house price listings to compare properties similar to yours.
  • Tuning into what is discussed at Council relating to Property Assessment and Tax.
  • Signing-up for an electronic Property Assessment Notice (eNotice) saves time and money, reduces the impact on our environment and provides a secure way to deliver your Property Assessment. It also allows you to receive your notice even if you are out of town.
  • Familiarizing yourself with your rights as it relates to Property Assessment and Tax. Many of your rights can be found in the governing legislation.[1] Here are a few helpful websites that may help you:

Did you know?

The portion of property tax you’re responsible for isn’t based on how much your property’s assessment changes year to year. The change in the tax portion you’re responsible for is based on your assessed value in relation to the overall market change in Calgary.

For more information, review a 2020 tax bill example: Understanding typical market change in Calgary  

Determining your share of taxes during COVID-19

Learn more about your property tax bill is calculated at tax rate and bill collection.

The City is committed to engaging and working with Calgarians to ensure our services align with citizen priorities in a fiscally responsible manner. The City has undergone extraordinary challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and plummeting oil prices. As a result, The City is acting quickly to lessen the impacts of COVID-19 and respond to citizen’s needs.

In addition to extending timelines for payment of 2020 taxes, The City is now realigning its 2021 budget to the emerging fiscal realities while minimizing the impact on service delivery to citizens. On Nov. 9, 2020 Council will review Administration’s recommendations and deliberate the adjustments to the 2021 service plans and budgets between Nov. 23 – 27, 2020.

Assessments are determined using market information collected from various sources including from property owners directly. For more information about how we arrive at your assessed value click here or watch the brief video below.

How The City determines the value of your home
Information:

We are also happy to talk to you. Contact us at 403.268.2888 and leave a message on our voicemail system. We will endeavour to call you back within 24 to 48 hours. We look forward to assisting you with any questions or concerns you have about your property assessment.

Telephone: 403-268-2888