Tax shift likely in the cards as Calgarians get property assessment notices

About a half a million residential and non-residential property owners can expect to find their 2019 property assessment notices in their mailboxes, and the numbers point to possible hikes for businesses outside the city core.

According to the City of Calgary, residential property values were relatively steady, meaning there shouldn’t be major changes to homeowners’ property tax bills.

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The median single residential home assessment is $475,000, which is down slightly from $480,000 in 2018. Condominium assessment values also saw a drop, going from $260,000 to $255,000.

Non-residential properties saw a significant drop in value, however, falling 12 per cent since 2018. Officials point to the dramatic drop in downtown office space values, which have gone down by 31 per cent.

Calgary’s overall market assessment rang in at $306 billion, which is down from nearly $311 billion last year.

Businesses outside the downtown core will likely shoulder the burden of that drop with large tax hikes.

“That’s really the whole crux of the redistributed process,” City of Calgary assessor Nelson Karpa said. “So the tax weight… that used to be held by the downtown office buildings now goes to the properties whose market value has remained relatively stable. So that’s what we’re going to see in some of the areas for sure.”

While city officials don’t have any concrete idea of what areas might be impacted by those hikes, Karpa said communities like 17 Avenue outside the downtown core and Inglewood held their value, for the most part.

Karpa said it’s “too early to speculate” when downtown might start to rebound from the slump and even out the tax burden.

“I think we’ve seen some sales come through that are showing some stability,” he said. “But it’s probably very difficult for me to comment on what can happen to those values in the next six months or a year.”

Property values are assessed based on a market valuation date of July 1, 2018, combined with a physical condition date done on Dec. 31, 2018. The values are used for determining property values.

As part of the city’s property value assessment period, residents are encouraged to go online to review and compare their property assessments and make sure they’re accurate.

Anyone that thinks their assessment might not be accurate has until March 12 to dispute it.

More information on the property value assessment period can be found on the city’s website.

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