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Municipal Affairs Announces Postponement of Proposed Industrial Minister’s Guideline Changes

Alberta Municipal Affairs recently announced that they will be postponing the finalization and implementation of the proposed Regulated Industrial Property Assessment (RIPA) Minister’s Guidelines for one year.

This decision is a huge victory for Designated Industrial Property (DIP) ratepayers, and can be attributed to the heavy pressure put on Municipal Affairs by Alberta stakeholders. In response to AEC clients’ written concerns that were submitted during the consultation period, Municipal Affairs indicated that this postponement was a direct result of “concerns you have raised, as well as other recommendations received during the public comment phase of this process.”

A by-product of Legislature voting to pass the Modernized Municipal Government Act – Bill 21, RIPA contains many far-reaching changes that will affect how industrial property in Alberta is assessed. As such, the delay comes as welcome news to many taxpayers who felt that there were significant flaws in the proposed amendments. Popular opinion among industry stakeholders was that the proposed revisions failed to address major concerns, and could even be considered a step backwards.

Winnipeg 2017 Property Tax Assessments are out!

Do you know what to do?

If you own real estate in Winnipeg, you should have received information on your 2017 realty assessments in the mail, as it was sent out on June 2, 2017 to all property owners.

You, as the taxpayer, have until Monday, June 26, 2017 to file an appeal with the City. Meanwhile, payments for your property tax bills are due on or before Friday, June 30, 2017.

The purpose of the assessment is to inform owners the estimated value of their property. This provides the City a basis for how much tax they can charge you. Property owners are provided the statement ahead of time, allowing them to review the assessment and ensure it reflects fair and equitable taxation. Year over year, property owners are faced with incremental hikes to their property tax. This year, we have estimated the average increase in value is approximately 26%. However, as AEC monitors sales and assessment trends regularly, it seems that this increase is not in line with the market. This potentially means that you may be over-assessed and would be paying too much in property taxes.

Brazeau County Passes 2017 Tax Rates and Rebate Program

Brazeau County will maintain its municipal tax rate for 2017 property taxation through the use of reserve funds and grants.

Elected Reeve Bart Guyon says, “We’re proud to have no increases to taxes rates for a second year in a row. We’ve also been able to maintain the 30% reduction in residential taxes from 2015, and for the second year in a row, we’ve been able to offer our businesses a tax rebate to help them through these tough economic times. And we’ve done this despite reduced revenue from linear assessment.” 

The municipal portion of the tax rates remain as follows:

  • Residential/Farmland:                    0.002002
  • Non-Residential:                              0.009046
  • Machinery & Equipment:               0.009046
  • However, mill rates for some properties will increase year over year. While Residential and Farmland rates will see a decrease of 1.32%, mill rates for Non-Residential and Machinery & Equipment assessments will see a slight increase in 2017. The Seniors Foundation mill rate is going up 22% due to a decrease in taxable assessment, resulting in a 0.41% increase to Machinery & Equipment mill rate. Non-Residential property will see a 3.7% mill rate increase due to increases to both the education requisition as well as the Seniors Foundation mill rate increase.

MD of Greenview Maintains Industrial Tax Rate Reduction in 2017

Alberta's Municipal District of Greenview will maintain their mill rate for industrial ratepayers year-over-year.  This means that, like last year, council elected to preserve a 7% industrial tax rate reduction, which was originally applied to 2016 property taxation in response to the lower commodity environment.


Calgary's 2017 Tax Rates Finalized

The CIty of Calgary has finalized 2017 tax rates and, as expected, rates continue to climb. This year's combined overall tax rate for non-residential property is 0.0177445, up from the 2016 rate of 0.0159346. This works out to an approximate 11.4% increase year-over-year. 

Calgary's finalized tax rates are as follows:

BC's 2nd Level of Appeal Deadline: May 1, 2017


Unhappy with your current assessment appeal outcome?

If so, all is not lost!  In British Columbia, there is a 2nd level appeal deadline on Monday, May 1, 2017.  If you appealed to the 1st level Property Assessment Review Panel (“PARP”) and are unsatisfied with their decision, please contact us immediately.

If you did not file a 1st level appeal but are interested in having us explore potential tax savings, give us a call as there may be an opportunity to re-address your assessment or provide guidance for future years.

AEC is pleased to offer a complimentary detailed review of your assessment, including recommendations on further appeal actions.

AEC Property Tax Inc. is Canada’s largest private property tax firm, having served Canadians since 1973.  Over the past year in BC, we’ve had a record amount of assessment reductions and achieved substantial tax savings for our clients.

Our unique approach ensures that your best interests are looked after while keeping your property tax exposure at a fair and minimal amount.   We pride ourselves on long-term relationships with our clients and personal attention to your property tax needs.

To discuss further, please contact Vance Leschuk by phone at (604) 629-4644 or by email.


Alberta Energy: Struggling Companies Seek Tax Relief from Municipalities

As Alberta’s energy industry continues to struggle amid low oil prices, oil and gas companies are exploring alternative ways to remain competitive, and as a recent article on Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. indicates, it’s not just junior producers who are seeking relief.

In the spring of 2016, requests were made from Canada’s largest heavy oil and natural gas producer to most Alberta municipalities where it operates, seeking a 30% reduction in property tax levies for their assets. These requests, and others made by others in industry, have made the local newspaper in Calgary, as noted in this link from an August 17, 2016 article in the Herald.

Throughout the article, reference is made to the undue burden that some municipalities feel that a tax cut for a major energy company would place upon its residential ratepayers. This is obviously a key concern.  Another aspect that is not mentioned is the timing that these requests were made.  The late winter and early spring months are when municipalities review budgets in order to set tax rates for the upcoming tax year and many budget requirements are likely already in place by March/April.

Saskatchewan Revaluation: Significant Increases Expected in 2017

Provincial legislation in Saskatchewan mandates that the assessed values, on which school and municipal property taxes are levied, be updated every four years. The process was last undertaken in 2013, based on 2011 values. Accordingly, the next revaluation will take place in 2017, utilizing 2015 as the base year. 

During a recent presentation, representatives of the Government of Saskatchewan provided preliminary estimates of the impact that the forthcoming update will have on assessed values. The following table highlights the anticipated changes by classification under the 2017 revaluation:

These are benchmark values which will most likely change before the final assessment notices are sent.  We would typically use these numbers as a benchmark against your increase in value, however, as this will affect your taxes for the next 4 years, a more detailed review should be completed. The increase in value is only one of the factors that will ultimately determine your taxes. Other items to consider that finally decide your taxes include: percentage of value (“POV”), phase-in rates and tax rates. Percentage increases in assessments are not a direct indication of increases in taxes.

2017 Calgary Advance Consultation Letters Have Been Mailed

Similar to last year, The City of Calgary Assessment Business Unit has mailed their Advance Consultation Period (“ACP”) letters well in advance of the 2017 taxation year. Letters inviting all Business and Non-Residential property owners to participate in ACP were mailed on June 20, 2016 and should arrive shortly, if they have not already been received.

ACP is a unique opportunity for owners and agents to act proactively and obtain preliminary 2017 assessment values prior to their finalization in December. During ACP, concerns are brought to the attention of Calgary assessors in a less formal setting than traditional appeals, ideally allowing for correction or settlement opportunities.  

This year, ACP will run from October 3 – November 3, 2016.

If you are concerned about your 2017 tax burden or would like to receive preliminary values for budgeting purposes, please forward your ACP letters to one of AEC’s consultants today! We would be happy to guide you through the review process and answer any questions you may have.

Jill McKenna, Sales and Marketing Coordinator

                p 403.456.0109

                e jmckenna [at] aecpropertytax.com

Alberta's Modernized Municipal Government Act: What You Need to Know

On May 31, 2016, the Modernized Municipal Government Act – Bill 21 (“Bill 21”) was tabled at the Alberta Legislature and subsequently passed its first reading. A culmination of nearly four years of review and consultations with municipalities, businesses, citizens and varying industry and association representatives, Bill 21 aims to provide Albertans with an updated and more relevant Municipal Government Act (“MGA”).

While our economic and technological realities have seen significant changes since Alberta’s last MGA review in 1995, many of the proposed revisions found in the Modernized Municipal Government Act fail to address major concerns, and can even be considered a step backwards in certain cases. Heavily involved throughout the entire MGA review process, AEC offers the following five key areas of concern for your consideration as they relate to municipal assessment and taxation:


Assessment Requests for Information (ARFI or RFI)


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