By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
During the M.D. of Taber AGM on April 27 in Hays, M.D. assessors Logan Waylog and Chris Hall gave a presentation about assessments.
“Currently, we provide services to about 50 municipalities in southern Alberta,” Waylog said. “We have one client: the municipality and we value all the property within a municipality. We use that information to revalue your property each year and every about five to seven years you may see an assessor come around and essentially verifying that the information we use each year is still accurate.”
Hall then explained that assessments are annual and are legislated based on market value using mass appraisal methodology and it reflects the market value of the property as of July 1, 2022, and the physical condition date is Dec. 31, 2022. Whatever condition a property is in on that date, Hall says, that is what it is valued at, and the market value is the amount that a property might be expected to sell at on the open market. The market, Hall said, changes from year to year and changes have resulted in increases or decreases from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2022.
The Barnwell area, Hall said, had an 8.3 per cent increase; the Taber south area had a 7.9 per cent increase; the Grassy Lake area had a 9.1 per cent increase; the Taber North area had a 9.3 per cent increase; the Hays area had a 3.3 per cent increase, the Enchant area had an 8.2 per cent increase; and the Vauxhall area had a 9.1 per cent increase. Overall, Hall said, the median percentage change increase from the M.D. of Taber is between eight and 12 per cent and that amount is based on the physical condition of the market influences in that particular area.
“In 2019, there was a slight decrease and then it’s been steadily increasing even through the COVID years and now, in 2022, it’s pretty strong,” Hall said.
In 2022, Hall said, the Residential Assessment Base increased 11.02 per cent and the non-residential assessment changed up to 6.1 per cent.
Hall also mentioned that Farmland Assessment was regulated by the province and that value was pretty stable year after year with little change, but any changes usually came because of subdivisions taking farmland out of circulation and into a different assessment class.
“I would say with the assessment process in southern Alberta, we were a little lighter on the values in the M.D. of Taber than let’s say Vulcan County or M.D. of Willow Creek,” Hall said. “In some spots in those counties, you’re seeing increases of 20 to 30 per cent in property value in a year-over-year change, some significantly higher increases. We are still fairly new to the M.D. where we don’t want to be that aggressive with rates as we’re still getting familiar with things. In southern Alberta, the market is quite hot; we haven’t seen really a slowdown yet.”