Frequently Asked Questions
How is my assessment arrived at?
3-acre market vale site: The first 3 acres of a farm parcel with a residence(s) is assessed at market value as if it were a subdivided parcel. This is shown as the residential category on your Notice. The remainder of the land is assessed on the ability of the land to produce agricultural products. The assessment takes factors such as soil quality, topography, stones, creeks, etc. into consideration. The Farmland Assessment Manual was utilized in preparing farmland assessments. The Rural Assessment Policy applies the amount of agricultural valued land assessment in the owner's unit as an exemption towards the residence (maximum for principle residence is 61,540 and for secondary residence is 30,770). The residence and buildings used for non-farm use are assessed at market value, as of July 1 of the year preceding the tax year. Farm buildings are exempt from assessment to the extent they are used for farming purposes.
Residential properties are assessed at market value, as of July 1 of the year preceding the tax year (i.e. July 1, 2008 for 2009 taxation). Market value is determined by analyzing the sales of all property types throughout the municipality. Mass appraisal techniques are used in this valuation process. The Alberta Provincial Government regulates that the "assessment ratio", the ratio of the assessment to an indicator of market value for a property, for all residential properties be 95% to 105% for the median assessment ratio. In the Residential category, the one overall assessed value represents the Market Value of your property to be used for assessment and taxation purposes.
Non-Residential property refers to either industrial or commercial operations, such as industrial plants, gravel pit operations, meat processing facilities, etc. Properties that have a multi-purpose use, such as a commercial business operating from a residential acreage, would have the commercial portion of the assessment classed as non-residential. The non-residential category of land, buildings, and structures is assessed at market value as of July 1 of the year preceding the tax year. The linear property includes cable, electric transmission lines, telecommunication equipment, pipelines, wells, and towers; and is part of the non-residential assessment category.
Machinery and equipment that is used for processing or manufacturing are assessed at the 77% regulatory level. This category includes properties such as gas plants, certain gas & oilfield installations, refineries, gravel crushing operations, concrete and asphalt batch plants, steel and foundry works, etc.
What is a mill rate?
A mill rate is the rate used to calculate your annual tax levy. It is the amount of taxes to be raised for every $1,000 of assessed value. For example, with a residential mill rate of 7.417, a tax parcel with an assessed value of $100,000 would have a levy of $741.70. The mill rates are set every year by a bylaw approved by the M.D. Council.
How is the mill rate calculated?
The mill rates are calculated by dividing the amount of revenue required by the total assessment of all taxable property within the M.D. of Willow Creek. The tax levy is calculated by multiplying the mill rate by the property assessment.
How and where do I pay my taxes?
Payments will be accepted either by mail, telephone banking, internet banking, or in person (cash, cheque or interac) payable to The Municipal District of Willow Creek No. 26
When do I have to pay my taxes?
Property taxes are due October 31st of each year.
How does a change of address impact my M.D. account?
A change of address must be given to the M.D. to allow prompt mailing of Assessment/Tax Notices, notices from different departments that relate to your property or neighboring properties, and information letters sent by the M.D. to its ratepayers. Please note that the Land Titles Office should also be notified of a change of address in order to update your title information. In order to change your address with Land Titles Office, download the necessary forms from the Land Title Office website or phone their office at (403) 297-6511. When Land Titles receives changes to a title, copies are sent to the M.D.
Why do I have to pay Education Taxes?
The M.D. of Willow Creek is required by legislation to collect taxes on behalf of the Provincial Government. Land owners must pay education taxes on property owned in every municipality in the Province.
Do seniors have to pay Education Property Taxes?
Yes. Seniors who own property must pay education property taxes. The provincial Education Property Tax Assistance program provides an annual rebate to senior homeowners who have an increase in the education portion of their property taxes.