Assessment FAQ

I just purchased my property. Why is the property assessment different than the price I paid?

The Government of Alberta requires the City to assess all property within Medicine Hat every year using a mass appraisal approach. The assessed value of your property noted in your assessment notice is your property's estimated market value (the amount it would most likely have sold for based on the mass appraisal in the open market on July 1 of the previous year.)

To establish an assessed value of your property, the City uses information on real estate sales that occurred up to and including last July 1 and information on any physical changes recorded up to last December 31.

A range of sale prices results when similar properties are sold during the same time frame. Assessed values reflect the sales in the middle of this range of prices. That is one of the reasons why your assessed value may be higher or lower than the price you purchased your home for.

Why is my property assessed as being “complete” when the building or basement is unfinished?

The annual assessment notice reflects the condition of your property as of December 31 of last year. If your property was mistakenly assessed as being 100% complete as of December 31, contact us to have this information reviewed and corrected if warranted.

A property may still be considered 100% complete even if the basement is unfinished. This is due to the valuation of the basement finish being separate from the percentage complete amount of the primary structure.

My assessment notice says that I have an improved parcel, but I've made no changes or improvements to it. What does this mean?

An improved parcel refers to any parcel of land that has some sort of structural element affixed to it. It does not mean that a change has occurred; it simply reflects that a building of some sort exists on the lot.

Why are assessment notices mailed separately from tax bills?
Property Assessment Notices are mailed separately from Tax Notices (tax bill) to allow you an opportunity to review the assessed value of your property and address any concerns with the Assessment Department prior to receiving the tax bill. You have 60 days to file a complaint about your assessment. However, please contact the Assessment Department to review your assessment before filing an appeal.

It is important to review your Property Assessment Notice before the complaint deadline as you will not be able to appeal your tax bill.

When will I get my property tax bill?
After City Council sets the property tax rate in April, your property assessment is used to calculate your property tax bill. Your property tax bill will be mailed out in May and you will have until June 30 to pay it.

Payment Plans and Options

What if the size of my home or other assessment or property details as indicated on the City's website, is incorrect?
Measurements used for assessment purposes reflect exterior measurements and may differ from what your builder or realtor has stated. 

If you believe that there are errors in the measurements or other physical characteristics that have been used to calculate your assessment, please contact us.

Will my taxes increase if my property assessment increases?
An increase in your property assessment does not mean your taxes will automatically go up by the same amount. Your assessment indicates the estimated value of your property and is used as a way to distribute taxes amongst all property owners. The property tax rate, which is based on budget requirements, is what determines how much your taxes will be. The tax rate is set by City Council each year.
What are the factors that affect my property's value?
  • Style of home (bungalow, bi-level, etc.)
  • Size of home
  • Size of the lot
  • Age
  • Basement or lower level finish
  • Quality of construction
  • Building condition
  • Location and site influences 
  • Other special features (air conditioning, fireplaces, pools, etc.)
Can I see other property assessments?
The property assessment roll is open for inspection by any property owner. You may view the assessment roll below or view a hard copy at City Hall:

You may want to compare the details of your assessment with the assessment of similar properties. This can be done by using the PDF files of the Assessment Roll by clicking on the link above, or by viewing assessments by map or address search below:

Under what authority can an assessor enter or inspect my property?
The Municipal Government Act provides the assessor the right to enter on and inspect a property to carry out their duties and responsibilities. 

Municipal Government Act


Residential Request for Information Guide 

Each year approximately 20% of residential properties will be inspected to ensure that the details of the property are up-to-date and accurate.  Each property is re-inspected on average every 5 years.  If your property was selected to complete a Residential Request for Information form, it was enclosed in your annual Assessment Notice. 

The purpose of the survey is to give the assessors a general understanding of the characteristics and condition of the property.  Please fill out the form to the best of your knowledge.  

Question 1 - Describe the roofing material

Graphic Question 1

Please select the option that best describes the roof.

Shake roof is referring to cedar shakes.

Graphic of Shake Roof

Question 2 - Indicated the type(s) of exterior finish

Graphic of Question

It is sufficient to use your best estimate for this question. If your house has brick in the front and the remaining three sides are stucco your survey should look like this:

Graphic of Question Response

Question 3 - Which of the following does the property have

Graphic of question

A covered deck is any deck/patio with a permanent covering (affixed to it). Not including coverings that can quickly be disassembled and removed/relocated.

Graphic of covered deck

An enclosed deck has framing or glass walls around the perimeter of the deck.

Graphic of enclosed deck

solarium is built almost entirely out of glass, including the ceiling.  

Graphic of solarium

Question 4 - Describe other buildings on the property

Graphic of question

Heated refers to a designated gas heater found inside the garage and/or in-floor heating in the garage.

Graphic of gas heater

The size is the square footage using the exterior measurements.

Example: your house has the following:

  • An attached garage that is insulated and has a gas heater
  • A detached garage that is insulated

Your question #4 should look like this:

Graphic of question response

Question 5 - Areas with in-floor heating

Graphic of question

In-floor heating refers to radiant floor heat located below the surface flooring material.
This question relates to either electric or hydronic floor heat only.

Radiant heating found underneath flooring built on top of a joist.

Graphic of radiant heating

Radiant heating built into the concrete slab of either a basement or a garage.

Graphic of radiant heating

Question 6 - Indicate the type(s) of heating
Graphic of question

A forced air furnace pumps heated air through ducts.

Other heat sources may include (but are not limited to) a gravity furnace, radiant heating, and active solar heating. If your heat source is anything other than forced air please select ‘Other’ and indicate what the source is.

Example, you have a gravity furnace:

Graphic of question response

Question 7 - Indicate the number and type of fireplace(s) on each level
Graphic of question

Built-in fireplaces generally have some sort of architectural feature that they are imbedded in.

Built-in wood burning fireplaces are often found in a masonry enclosure. 

Graphic of wood burning fireplace

Built-in natural gas and electric fireplaces are a part of the wall and cannot be easily removed.

Graphic of gas fireplace

Freestanding or woodstove will have some type of chimney or metal stack leading to the outside of the house.

Graphic of freestanding stove

Question 8 - Indicate number of plumbing fixtures
Graphic of question

In determining the number of plumbing fixtures for assessment, a tub & shower combo is considered one fixture.

A bathroom with a toilet, sink, shower, or tub (or tub & shower combo) is considered a 3pc bath.  

Examples of a 3pc bath

Graphic of 3 piece bathroom

A 4pc bath is any combination of 4 plumbing fixtures in a bathroom.

A bathroom with a toilet, sink, separate shower, and a tub is a 4pc bath. A bathroom with a toilet, two sinks (double vanity), and a shower is also a 4pc bath.

Examples of a 4pc bath

Graphic of 4 piece bathroom

Example: Your home is a two-story house and consists of the following:

Main floor:

  • Two kitchen sinks (one main sink and a second sink in the butler’s pantry)
  • A half bath (toilet and sink)

Upper floor:

  • A bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower-tub combo
  • An ensuite with double vanity (two sinks), a shower, and a toilet


  • A bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower
  • A wet bar with a sink 

Following the example, question #8 should look like this:

Graphic of question response

Question 9 - Describe the flooring materials (excluding the basement)
Graphic of question

Provide an estimate of the flooring material for the main and upper levels of your property.

Example: Your home is a two-story house and consists of the following:

Main floor:

  • A living room taking up 50% of the main area that has hardwood flooring
  • The kitchen, dining, and a half bathroom all have tile flooring which make up the remaining 50% of this level

Second floor:

  • Entirely carpeted except for the bathroom and ensuite which have tile flooring and make up about 20% of the upper level

Following the example, question #9 should look like this:

Graphic of question response

Question 10 - Does your home contain any of the following

Graphic of question

A walk out basement exits the property at the backyards grade level.

Graphic of walkout basement

Theatre/media room has multiple elevations allowing for viewership in 2 or more rows. It likely has built in seats that are unlikely to be moved when the property is sold. It will also have a built-in stereo system.

Graphic of theatre / media room

Question 11 - Describe the basement development
Graphic of question

Number (#) of rooms is the total number of finished rooms on a level, including storage rooms, living areas, bedrooms, and bathrooms (not including utility rooms).                                                                            

Percentage (%) of area is the percent of the level that is finished.

Example: A basement has a fully finished living area and bathroom, taking up two-thirds of the space, and the rest is unfinished. The flooring in the living area is carpet, and linoleum in the bathroom. The walls have a drywall finish. Your survey should look like this: 

Graphic of question response

Four-level split

Graphic of 4 level split

Example: A four-level split has a fully finished 3rd level consisting of a bathroom and a living area. The basement is unfinished except for one bedroom that has carpet, panelling on the walls, and unfinished ceiling (the bedroom makes up roughly 35% of the total basement area). Use the column ‘Additional Comments’ to add comments to explain further.

The survey should look like this:

Graphic of question response

Crawl space is located underneath a floor, has a headspace of under 5 feet, and has either a dirt floor or a concrete slab. Use the additional comments to describe where the crawl space is located.

Graphic of a crawl space

Example: See below for an example of how to report crawlspace using the previous illustration

Graphic of question response


Question 12 - If the basement is developed, indicate the quality of finish in the basement (lowest level) in comparison to the main level(s)

Graphic of question


This is used to determine the quality of the basement finish in comparison to the main level. The following are some examples of when to use the three options.

If the basement is of a similar quality to the main level select ‘Equal’.

If the main level is drywalled and nicely finished where the basement has wood pannelling and has dated paint select ‘Inferior’.

If the basement has seen a recent renovation and is of a higher quality then the main level select ‘Superior

Question 13 - For each category, if renovated, indicate the year renovated

Graphic of question

Please indicate any renovations to the main and upper levels (NOT including basement and lower levels).

If unsure of the year a renovation occurred, provide your best guess. 

The additional comments column allows you to elaborate or provide details on the renovation. If the previous owner completed the renovation, the comments column can state so.

If it is original to the house, leave the row blank.

If items like cabinets, doors, and exterior finish have only been painted/refurbished, not replaced, please state so in the additional comments.

Question 14 - Please describe each addition
Graphic of question

Structural additions are garages, extensions of the main improvement, or sheds greater than 200 square feet and permanently affixed to the property (cannot be easily disassembled and removed).

Question 15 - Your comments
Graphic of question

Question 15 can be used to elaborate on previous questions or to make a note of anything not mentioned in the survey. 

Thank you for taking the time to fill out and return the Residential Request for Information.  Any further questions can be directed to the assessment department at 403-529-8114.