The Government of Alberta's Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program allows qualifying seniors to defer their property tax payment through a low-interest home equity loan with Alberta Seniors. Under this program, the Alberta government will pay your residential property taxes directly to the City on your behalf. You re-pay the loan, with interest, when you sell the home, or sooner if you wish.
To be eligible, a senior homeowner must:
- be 65 years of age or older;
- be an Alberta resident;
- own a residential property in Alberta; and
- have a minimum of 25% home equity.
For more information on this program, visit http://www.seniors.alberta.ca/seniors/property-tax-deferral.html or call the Alberta Supports Contact line at 1-877-644-9992 (780-644-9992 in Edmonton).
Each year, City Council determines the municipal budget needed to provide services to our residents and businesses. This include such things as fire and police service; snow removal; community and social services; road construction and maintenance; bylaw enforcement; park maintenance; recreation; and library.
The primary source of revenue for the City is property taxes. However, we also receive revenue from other areas such as government grants and user fees.
The municipality is also required to collect school taxes on behalf of the Province, and 2) funding for the Heartland Housing Foundation (HH - primarily for seniors housing). For both school taxes and funding to the Heartland Housing Foundation, the City does not have authority to change or refuse the amount requested.
The following chart shows the portion of your taxes that go towards City services, the provincial education tax, and Heartland Housing Foundation.
The City of Fort Saskatchewan offers a number of convenient options for you to pay your Property taxes:
- Sign up for the monthly Fort Electronic Payment Plan (FEPP). The plan divides your annual property taxes into 12 equal monthly payments which are automatically withdrawn from your chequing account on the 15th of each month. Applications are accepted until May 1 of the year that taxes are due and payable. Your tax account must be paid up to date (e.g. if joining in May, taxes for January to April of the current year must be paid plus any arrears owing), and a specimen cheque marked “VOID” must be attached to the application.
- Telephone or internet banking through your financial institution (your seven digit roll number is your account number).
- At most chartered banks, credit unions and other financial institutions (Allow 7 days to process payment).
- Mail your cheque (payable to City of Fort Saskatchewan) and enclose the remittance portion of the tax notice.
- In person at City Hall (10005 - 102 St) between 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday by cash, cheque or debit card (please check with your financial institution to ensure your single transaction limit is sufficient for debit card).
- After hours payment can be deposited in the “mail deposit” located at the main entrance to City Hall (please enclose the remittance portion of the tax notice).
- In person at other City Facilities (please bring the remittance portion of your tax notice) including the:
- Dow Centennial Centre 8700 - 84 St
- Harbour Pool 10001 - 94 Ave
- James E Graham Building 11121 - 88 Ave
Please note, credit cards or credit card cheques are not accepted for tax payments.
To check that your property assessment is fair in relation to other similar properties in the City, you may review the assessment roll at City Hall 10005-102 Street or complete an online Property Search. You can also search an address using a City map. City staff will be happy to answer your questions.
When reviewing the Assessment Roll, check for the following:
- that the assessment is a reasonable estimate of the market value of the property as of July 1, of the previous year (talk to realtors, appraisers or other real estate experts if necessary)
- that the assessment is reasonable in relation to other similar properties in your neighbourhood or area
All assessments are updated yearly to reflect changes in local market conditions, but not all properties are inspected. The City currently re-inspects 20% of the properties yearly to recognize any additions, deletions, renovations, etc, all of which may have an effect on the value of the property.
Not necessarily, a property’s assessment is determined from a range of probable selling prices, not a specific selling price. For example, the market value range on the above property may have been $375,000 to $425,000 depending on the time of year, exposure to the market, motivation of buyer or seller, similar property sales, etc. The assessor must take all this into consideration when determining a fair assessment.
Not necessarily, the assessment reflects an estimate of the value based on several factors including similar properties which have sold. Also, your current assessment is based upon market conditions in the previous year. Any changes, increase or decrease, in property values since then will be not reflected on the current assessment.
The following chart illustrates the estimated change in taxes payable for an average home in Fort Saskatchewan if your assessment did not change.
Dollar Change Percent Change Municipal Tax Levy $2,075.88 $1,982.57 $93.31 4.71% Education Tax Levy $1,030.28 $949.88 $80.40 8.46% Heartland Housing Foundation Tax Levy $22.86 $21.37 $1.49 7.01% Combined Tax Impact $3,129.02 $2,953.82 $175.20 5.93%
Dollar Change Percent Change Municipal Tax Levy $9,096.74 $9,711.14 $(614.40) (6.33%) Education Tax Levy $3,578.10 $3,364.70 $213.40 6.34% Heartland Housing Foundation Tax Levy $57.14 $53.43 $3.71 6.95% Combined Tax Impact $12,731.98 $13,129.27 $(397.29) (3.03%)
The change in your property assessment compared to the overall change for all property in your assessment class determines whether you will pay more, less, or the same as the average property tax increase.
Also, the percentage increase approved by Council only relates to municipal taxes. Your tax notice also includes requests related to the Provincial Education tax and Heartland Housing Foundation, which may also have increased over the previous year.
First you should call City Hall 780-992-6228 and we will arrange for the assessor to contact you. Most concerns can be resolved in this manner. Alternatively, contact the assessor by completing the Assessment Inquiry Form and the assessor will contact you
If you are still not satisfied with the assessment after talking with the Assessor, you may file a complaint with the Assessment Review Board. You must complete the standard complaint form (also available at City Hall). Ensure that you provide complete information with the form. The Assessment Review Board cannot hear matters that are not listed on your complaint. There is a fee for filing a complaint. The fees for different property types are listed below (see back of assessment notice). The deadline for filing a complaint is 60 days from date your assessment is mailed.
Residential and Farmland (all values): $ 25.00
Non-residential, Apartments and Multi-family developments:
Under $500,000 assessment $100.00
500,001 - $1,000,000 assessment $250.00
1,000,001 - $5,000,000 assessment $450.00
Over $5,000,000 assessment $650.00
Your assessment is an estimate of the price your property may have sold for on the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer, as of July 1 of the previous year. The City is required to reassess all properties annually, and assessments are used to equitably distribute the revenue required from property taxes to support City services.
In collaboration with the communities of Fort Saskatchewan and Sherwood Park, Heartland Housing Foundation provides administration services to low and modest income seniors, individuals and families for both communities.
Heartland Housing Foundation operates three seniors lodge facilities within Sherwood Park and Fort Saskatchewan, manages one seniors' apartment complex and one affordable family housing complex, and administrates five rent-geared-to-income, self-contained seniors' apartment facilities within Strathcona County and Fort Saskatchewan on behalf of the Province of Alberta.
The Alberta Housing Act provides the Foundation with authority to requisition funds from municipalities. The City acts solely as the authority to collect the Heartland Housing Foundation requisition and does not have authority to change or refuse the amount requested. The requisition is proportionately split based on the total property assessment for each community.
Your property assessment is used to determine your share of the total property taxes the City needs to provide the services and infrastructure established in the annual budget.
The change in your property assessment compared to the overall change for all property in your assessment class determines whether you will pay more, less, or the same as the average property tax increase. If your tax bill is either higher or lower than last year, it may be due in part to a change in your property’s assessed market value being higher or lower than the average change in property values City wide.
The City receives funding from a variety of sources, as shown in the chart below.
The City of Fort Saskatchewan mailed the 2017 Assessment and Property Tax Notices on May 23, 2017. If you did not receive an Assessment and Property Tax Notice, please contact the City of Fort Saskatchewan at 780-992-6228.
- Property taxes are due on or before June 30.
For the municipal portion of property taxes, the City collects $42.7 million from residential ($17.4 million) and non-residential ($25.2 million) properties within Fort Saskatchewan. The following chart shows the percentage each property category pays.
Funding provided by municipal property taxes supports a variety of programs and services, as indicated by the chart below.
The City of Fort Saskatchewan, in conjunction with the Capital Region Assessment Services Commission (CRASC), has engaged Tanmar Consulting Inc. (TCI) of Sherwood Park to conduct property assessment inspections.
Although City Council approves the budget for City services in December, the final property assessment values and requisitions for the provincial education tax and the Heartland Housing Foundation are not available until the end of March.