Property Assessment

Assessment is the process of estimating a dollar value on a property for taxation purposes. This value is used to calculate the amount of taxes that will be charged to the owner of the property.

Assessments for all types of property are prepared by accredited municipal assessors which are appointed by the City. Assessors obtain required information through many means including site inspections, building permits and blueprints, sales data from Alberta Registries, and by written request.

Check out the Guide to Property Assessment and Taxation in Alberta

The Market Value Approach

In Alberta, residential and most commercial property is assessed using the market value approach. Market value is defined as the price a property might reasonably sell for after adequate time and exposure to an open market when sold by a willing seller to a willing buyer.

The assessor will consider the same factors that any other real estate specialist would use when determining the value of a property. Assessors can readily check assessments by making comparisons with recent sales and assessments of similar properties in the neighbourhood.

For residential properties, these factors include but not limited to:

  • lot and home size
  • finished basement
  • construction quality
  • location
  • age
  • upgrades
  • number of bathrooms
  • fireplaces
  • historical and current sales prices

For multi-family (apartment) and commercial properties, these factors also include income and expense information. These types of properties are bought and sold based on the rental (lease) income they produce and therefore property owners may be requested to submit this information to the assessor.

Assessment Value Search

Search a property to view tax assessments.

Reviewing your Property Assessment

Review your property assessment notice to ensure:

  • Your name, address and school support are correct
  • The property classification (residential, farmland, non-residential) correctly describes your property

Next, compare the assessment on your notice to the typical market value of your property as of July 1 of the previous year. You may compare your assessment to the assessments of other properties similar in size, age, quality, condition and location.

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 you can search a property online.

Once you have compared your new assessment to its previous year's market value and to the assessment of similar neighbouring properties, and if you still have questions or concerns about your assessment, contact the Finance Department.

You can also fill out an Assessment Inquiry Form to have the assessor contact you about your assessment concern.

Who is the Assessor?

The City of Fort Saskatchewan is a member of the Capital Region Assessment Services Commission. The Commission has contracted Tanmar Consulting Inc. to complete the assessments for the City.

Filing a Complaint

If you are not satisfied with the assessment after talking with an Assessor, you may file a complaint with the Assessment Review Board (ARB).

To file an assessment complaint to the ARB:

  1. You must complete an ARB Complaint form. If you are using a tax agent, please complete the Agent Authorization form as well. Physical copies of these forms are available at City Hall.
  2. Form(s) must be filled out completely by the assessed person or tax payer of the property, including the reasons for your complaint. Be prepared to present your evidence at the hearing.
  3. The appropriate fee(s) must accompany the complaint form.
  4. The form(s) must be returned by the date specified on the front of this notice (except for linear property) to:
    City of Fort Saskatchewan
    Secretary, Assessment Review Board
    10005 - 102 Street
    Fort Saskatchewan, AB T8L 2C5

The Assessment Review Board cannot hear matters that are not listed on your complaint.

Fees for filing a 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

Fees for filing a complaint with the ARB for Non-Residential, Apartments and Multi-family developments

Value of property

Fee

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

View the Fees and Charges Bylaw

Preparing for Your Assessment Complaint or Appeal Hearing

Information to help you prepare your assessment complaint can be found on the Municipal Affairs website.

If you have questions please contact the Assessment Services Branch at 780-422-1377. To call toll-free, dial 310-0000 then 780-422-1377.

What if I disagree with the decision of the Assessment Review Board (ARB)?

If you disagree with the decision of the Assessment Review Board, you may file an appeal to the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. An appeal can only be made if you believe that the ARB made an error on a question of law or jurisdiction.

You have 30 days from the date you receive the written decision of the ARB to file your application for "Leave to Appeal" with the court.

FAQs

How often are properties assessed?

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.

If I paid $400,000 for my property, will that be the assessment?

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.

Is the assessment the actual current market value of the property?

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.

What is the relationship between my assessment and my property?

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.