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Fundamentals of Alberta’s Property Assessment and Taxation System

In comparison to other types of taxation systems, the property taxation system offers a relatively stable source of tax revenue for government. When the economy is growing, any growth in property tax revenue is delayed until new construction brings new homes and commercial and industrial developments into the tax base. Conversely, when the economy declines, the assessment base does not immediately change and, therefore, property tax revenue remains stable.

The system is based on the fundamentals of assigning a dollar value to each property for the purposes of taxing property in a fair and consistent manner. The terms ‘assessment’ and ‘taxation’ are not interchangeable. ‘Assessment’ is the process of estimating a dollar value of a property. ‘Taxation’ is the process of applying a tax rate to a property’s assessed value to determine the taxes payable by the owner of that property.

Properties are grouped into classes based on similar characteristics and fixed tax rates are used for each class. This approach is considered equitable in that properties of the same nature and value pay the same amount of tax. Higher valued properties will pay more tax based on the principle that those property owners have a greater ability to pay based on property wealth. 

Property assessment and taxation is undertaken on an annual cycle as indicated below: 

July 1 Valuation date - each property is valued based on the current market conditions as of this date. 
Dec. 31* Condition date: any changes in the physical condition of a property as of this date are factored into the property assessment from July 1.
Jan — May  Assessment notices are mailed and property owners have 60 days to file a complaint as per the assessment notice.
Apr — Jun  Apr – Jun Council approves the tax rates and tax notices are mailed to property owners based on the assessed values as of July 1 and the condition date of Dec. 31. 
Jun 30  Deadline to pay property taxes is the last business day of June.
Jul 1 Municipalities may apply a penalty to any unpaid taxes owing.


  • The condition date for linear property is October 31. All other property is December 31. 
  •  Assessment notices for linear property are mailed by the province, not municipalities.
  • The timing of assessment notices will vary depending on the municipality. Some municipalities choose to mail assessment notices early in the year (January or February) and others choose to send the assessment notice and the tax notice together, which typically means the notices are mailed in April or May. 

Click on one of the following links for more information about the property assessment and taxation system.