Frequently Asked Questions
What assessment information can I request?
How do I know if I am being assessed fairly?
How can I compare my assessment?
How is my property assessed?
What is Market Value?
How is market value assessment done?
How is farmland valued for assessment?
How do we qualify for farm status?
What is Rural Assessment Policy (RAP) Exempt?
Why is the assessment department inspecting my property?
What can I do if I don't feel my assessment is fair?
After a review I still don't feel my assessment is fair. What can I do?
You can request a summary of assessment information on any property within Foothills County provided you know the legal description. You can request detailed assessment information on a property if you are the owner or an authorized agent of the owner. (FOIP rules apply).
Compare your assessment to property that is in close proximity to yours and has a residence of similar age, style & quality of construction. After you have compared your assessment to similar properties, contact the Assessment Department in person, by phone or email to explain any differences or concerns.
The assessment roll is available for inspection during business hours at Foothills County, contact the Assessment Department, or click here 2011 Assessment Roll.
If your property is NOT being used as part of a farming/ranching operation, your property will be assessed market value. If your property IS part of a farming/ranching operation, you will have a minimum of 3 acres, house(s) and accessory buildings assessed at market value and the remaining land area at a farmland value. Any buildings used as part of the farming/ranching operation will be considered un-assessable and exempt from taxes.
Market value is the price a property might reasonably be expected to sell for if sold by a knowledgeable, willing seller to a willing buyer after an appropriate time and exposure in an open market. The market-value based standard is used to determine the assessed values for the majority of properties in Alberta.
Key characteristics of Market Value are:
It is the most probable price, not the highest, lowest, or average price.
It is expressed in terms of a dollar value
It assumes a transaction between unrelated parties in the open market.
It assumes a willing buyer and a willing seller, with no advantage being taken by either party
It recognizes the present use and potential use of the property.
The market place sets the value of your property
The Assessment Department measures it.
Assessors analyze the same property characteristics considered by buyers and sellers (eg. features influencing value-location, size, views, trees, traffic noise, river).
Assessors measure the relationship between sale price and property characteristics.
Assessors apply the information to properties that did not sell
Assessors consider unique characteristics, similarities and differences of each property.
Assessors estimate market value of all properties based on properties that have sold.
Assessors value properties in Alberta using a method called mass appraisal. Mass appraisal techniques allow assessors to accurately value a large number of properties in a short period of time.
Farmland is currently assessed on the basis of its productive value. All farmland is rated on the basis of its ability to produce income from the growing of crops and/or the raising of livestock. The productive value of farmland is determined using a process that sets a value for the best soils, and then makes adjustments for less than optimum conditions such as stones, the presence of sloughs, or topography not conducive to farming practices.
EXCERPT FROM ALBERTA REGULATION 220/2004
Municipal Government Act
1. (i) "farming operations" means the raising, production and sale of agricultural products and include
(i) horticulture, aviculture, apiculture and aquiculture
(ii) the production of livestock as defined in the Livestock and Livestock Products Act, and
(iii) the planting, growing and sale of sod.
EXCERPT FROM LIVESTOCK AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS ACT R.S.A.2000
1. e) "livestock" means horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, fur-bearing animals raised in captivity, domestic cervids within the meaning of the Livestock Industry Diversification Act, live poultry and bees.
Examples of common situations where you may qualify for farmland status
Yourself or a neighbour is taking hay or crop from your property
Yourself or a neighbour is grazing livestock on your property
Yourself or a neighbour has a plant/tree nursery in operation
If you think you qualify for farm status and want your assessment to reflect that status please contact the Assessment Department to get a copy of a farm status declaration to complete.
(RAP) Rural Assessment Policy - In a rural municipality, a residence on farmland is exempt from assessment, in whole or in part, based on the assessed value of the qualifying farmland owned by the farmer/rancher. The exemption applies only to land owned by the farmer/rancher or leased from the Crown or a municipality. Land that is leased from private owners does not qualify for an exemption.
Before an assessment can be prepared, property data must be collected. Sources of information are property owners, Alberta Land Titles, the real estate Multiple Listing Service and financial institutions.
Detailed information about each property is also gathered by making on-site visits.
The assessors will visit all properties with building construction in progress, properties that have sold, as well as newly subdivided parcels. As part of our requirement to re-inspect each property in the Foothills County every five years we plan to visit approximately 2000 properties each year.
The assessors will be driving Foothills County vehicles and will have I.D. cards with them. We do inspections 12 months of the year. We encourage you to take the time to go over your assessment with them if they come to your house for an inspection visit.
Thank you for your past and future cooperation with the assessment process.
If you believe your assessed value may not be accurate or you just want to find out how it was determined, please contact the Assessment Department to have an assessor review your assessment with you. You can request a review any time before December 31 of each taxation year. Email or phone 403-652-2341 or fax 403-652-6900.
You have the right to appeal your assessment within 60 days of the mailing date of the combined Assessment/Tax Notice. Complaint forms are available on line here - Assessment Complaints, the Municipal office or by contacting the Assessment Review Board Clerk by email or 403-652-2341.