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