Drumheller’s Tax Assessments raises some eyebrows | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2024 5pm

Drumheller’s Tax Assessments raises some eyebrows


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Many Town of Drumheller (TOD) residents have concerns about the Tax Rate increase that their tax assessments reflect in which the Town is expected to collect just over $14 million in property taxes from this year.

Many residents are upset and confused by the amounts seemingly increasing by more than the four percent Tax Rate increase that Council approved in May. One resident stated on social media that their assessment went up $700 due to the fact that they’re in a flood zone and others stated that their assessments show they have done “Improvements” to their properties when they say they have not.

In 2023, the average assessment for a single family home was $234,000 and the property tax was $2,123. “An assessed home at $234,000 will see about an $82 change (0.22/day) on that,” stated Councillor Tony Lacher at the Monday, May 13, Committee of the Whole Meeting.

The Mail reached out to TOD Administrators to see where the confusion lies for the residents, and in an email response from Communications Liason Kathryn Kolaczek she explains that when calculating how much property tax is owed the Tax Assessment takes several factors into account.

The main factor is the Market Value of the property and how much it would sell for in the current market. The amount of sales in the area and how much the homes sold for play a big role in determining this.

Property Features such as the size of the land and home, its age and condition, and whatever garages and sheds there are, are all defined as “Improvements” by the Municipal Government Act. They are structures and therefore an “Improvement” to bare land.

“Every house in Drumheller has an “Improvement” on the land,” states Kolaczek in the email. “It does not mean only new “Improvements” in the year, but any existing structures at the time of assessment.”

Some reasons why an assessment could increase more than the four percent Council approved is because of any market changes, property improvements (if renovations were done). The school and seniors foundations can also play a part in a potential increase. The Alberta School Foundation and Drumheller and District Seniors Foundation will receive almost $3.5 million of the $14 million in taxes collected.

“The TOD has neither control, nor influence, on both provincial requisitions. The Town is responsible for the collection from the property owners and remit these funds to the Province,” it states in the email. “The increases for the education and seniors foundations are not decided by the town.”

If a home was assessed at $200,000 last year, with a one percent Tax Rate, the property tax would be $2,000.

If the assessed value of the property went up ten percent this year, the home would be assessed at $220,0400 with the four percent increase, the property tax would be $2,288.

“One other thing to consider is that the tax assessors are very approachable, if anyone has questions, they are welcome to reach out.”

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