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Assessment & Taxation

HOW IS MY TAX BILL CALCULATED?
 
In its budget, the Town of Picture Butte Council approves the amount of expenditure required to support Town services. From this amount, sources of revenue other than property taxes, such as provincial grants, license fees, and user fees are subtracted. The balance is the amount raised by property taxes.
 
In order to calculate taxes, a tax rate is established. The tax rate reflects the amount of taxes to be paid for every $1,000.00 of assessed value. The formula used to determine the tax rate is as follows:
 
TAX RATE =
Total Revenue Required from Property tax
Total Assessment
 
Your property taxes are calculated by multiplying the assessed value of your property by the tax rates:
 
PROPERTY TAX BILL =  
Assessment  x  Municipal Tax Rate   +   Assessment  x  Education Tax Rate   +   Assessment  x  Green Acres Tax Rate
 
The Education tax rate and the Green Acre Foundation tax rate are set once the Town receives the annual requisitions from the Government of Alberta and Green Acres Foundation. The amounts of the Education and Green Acres requisitions are not subject to review or approval by the Town Council.

METHODS OF PAYMENT

Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP) - We offer a tax installment payment plan (TIPP) to help taxpayers budget their property taxes over a twelve month period. To be eligible for the plan, all tax arrears must be paid in full. New applications must be received by January 10. For more information, look at the TIPP Brochure and TIPP Application Form.

In Person at the Town Office by cash, cheques, interact and credit card. Please check with your financial institution to ensure your single transaction limit is sufficient.

Mail - Please make your cheques payable to the Town of Picture Butte and enclose the bottom portion of your notice or record yoru roll numer on the cheque.

Telephone or Internet Banking - through your financial institution (your roll number is the account number). Tax and utility accounts are separate accounts. Ensure that you are paying the correct account. Please check to see if the Town of Picture Butte is listed as a valid payee with your financial institution.

Taxes must be paid by the last business day prior to July 10. If not, you will be charged an 18% penalty on the current years outstanding balance. A penalty of 18% will be charged on January 1 to the full balance owing.
 
ASSESSMENT & TAXES

The primary responsibility of the Town’s Assessor’s is to determine the market value of every property in the Town of Picture Butte so that all taxpayers contribute their fair share to pay for the services they enjoy.
 
The Assessor’s do not set the tax rates nor do they determine how much must be collected in yearly taxes.
 
The most important product of the Assessment Office is the assessment roll, which is a listing of all properties, located within the Town of Picture Butte and their assessed values.
 
The Purpose of the assessment system is the equitable distribution of taxation for the purpose of paying for public services.
 
The Town uses the assessment roll to determine the tax rates that have to be set to raise the revenues required by the Town and various taxing authorities. The Town office collects taxes for the Province of Alberta, (Alberta Education) Palliser Regional S.D #26, Holy Spirit R.C. Regional Division # 4, and Green Acres Foundation (senior housing).

Residents are encouraged to complete a School Support Declaration Form (Form 6A) to ensure their education property taxes are directed to their desired school board.
 

ASSESSMENT

The Alberta Government has a mandate that property assessments for 1998 and future taxation years with the Province:
  • Are reflective of the market value of property as of July 1 of the previous year, and
  • Must reflect the characteristics and physical condition of the property on December 31 of the year prior to the year in which the tax is imposed and
  • That the assessments must be kept current by being updated on an annual basis.
 
WHAT IS AN ASSESSMENT?
 
An assessment is the estimate of a property market value, as of July 1, of the year previous to the tax year.
 
WHAT IS MARKET VALUE?

Market value is the most probable price that would be paid for a property in a competitive and open market. It assumes that the buyer and seller are acting prudently and knowledgeably, allowing sufficient time for the sale and assumes that the transaction is not affected by undue pressures.
 
WHAT ARE PROPERTY CLASSES?
 
Once the assessment has been determined, the Assessor’s Office must determine which tax classification is appropriate for your property. There are two different property tax classifications used in the Town of Picture Butte; Single Family Residential & Non- Residential. Different tax rates are set for these different property tax classifications.
 
HOW IS PROPERTY VALUED?
 
The Assessor’s Office doesn’t create the value of your property; it is created by the real estate marketplace. The Assessor’s Office just measures it.
 
The Assessor’s Office is kept informed by the Province Land Titles Office of all real estate sales within the Town of Picture Butte.
 
The Appraisers of the Assessor’s Office apply the accepted mass appraisal practices using information from all property sales within the Town of Picture Butte to estimate the market value of your property. They take into account all the market conditions that may affect your property’s value such as location, size, shape, replacement cost, age and the condition of your buildings.
 
WE PAID $245,000 FOR OUR PROPERTY. WHY IS IT ASSESSED AT $255,000?
 
The real estate market has many forces affecting the value of property. These include supply and demand, motivation of buyers and sellers, renovations, remodeling, normal wear and tear and so on.
 
When similar properties are sold during the same time frame, a range of sales prices results. Assessed values reflect the sale in the middle of this range of prices. This is why there are assessments that are higher and lower than the selling price. Regulations should be consulted.
 
WHAT CAN I DO IF I DISAGREE WITH THE ASSESSOR’S ESTIMATE OF MY PROPERTY VALUE?

Prior to filing a written complaint, you are encouraged to contact the Town of Picture Butte Assessor’s Office (Benchmark Assessment Consultants Inc.). The Assessor will be pleased to review the assessment with you. If the Assessor determines that an error has been made, your assessment will be revised.
 
I STILL DISAGREE WITH THE ASSESSMENT OR TAX CLASSIFICATION. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If, after talking with the Assessor’s Office your concerns are not satisfied, you may file a formal complaint with the Assessment Review Board. A written complaint explaining why you feel your assessment is incorrect, along with the appropriate filing fee, must be sent to the Clerk of the Assessment Review Board for the Town of Picture Butte. The information required to file a complaint along with a fee schedule, is stated on your assessment notice.
 
WHAT IS A TAX RATE?

A tax rate is the rate of taxation applied against the value of property within a municipality to collect the revenue required by the various taxation authorities. Normally the tax rate is expressed in mills (dollars in tax paid per thousand dollars for the property value) or sometimes a percentage of the property value (i.e. a tax rate of 1.5% on a home valued at $100,000 would require the payment of $1,500 in annual property taxes)
 
CAN I APPEAL MY TAXES
 
No. You can appeal only the assessment of your property.
 
WHERE CAN I RECEIVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PROPERTY ASSESSMENT OR TAXATION?

Benchmark Assessment Consultant Inc.
#4 – 320 W.T. Hill Blvd.
Lethbridge, AB
T1J 4W9
Contact Blair Hurt
Phone: 403-381-0535
Toll Free: 800-633-9012
Fax: 403-381-1596 

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