Understanding Your Assessment

A property assessment is an estimate of a property's market value. The assessed value of your property is the basis for municipal taxes, as well as provincial education taxes and the Cypress View Foundation levy.

In Alberta, the property assessment system is based on the regulations within the Municipal Government Act to ensure a fair and defensible system that supports an equitable distribution of municipal taxes.

Property assessments in the City of Medicine Hat are based on the market value of each property as of July 1 the previous year, and the condition of the property as of December 31 of the previous year.

Assessments are prepared solely for municipal taxation purposes and should not be used as an appraisal.


How is property assessed?

The assessment of all properties located within the City of Medicine Hat (residential, non-residential and multi-family) is calculated on the basis of market value. These assessments are then used to distribute the total tax levy amongst all properties.

(Assessed Value x Tax Rate = Property Tax)

Property values may increase or decrease over time. To be fair and equitable and to comply with provincial legislation, all properties must be reassessed annually. As a property owner, you are entitled to compare your assessment, make an inquiry, and even appeal your assessment.


Property valuation

To meet the Provincial Government audit guidelines, and to assist in calculating the valuation of all property, Assessment must update recorded property information at least once every five years.

One of the main methods currently used to update our records is periodic on-site inspections. Using this method requires over 5,000 inspections each year. To ensure that the most accurate inventory data is collected and recorded, we appreciate your cooperation with an assessor who may visit your property.


Residential property assessment

Why does an assessor want to review my property information?

Property reviews are required to complete both re-inspection cycles and annual assessments. They may be conducted by mail out surveys for you to complete or by on-site visits by an assessor. 

  • To assess new construction, renovations, changes, additions, demolitions, etc.
  • To determine the condition and depreciation of your property

What to expect with an on-site property review

Assessors will do the following when they need to review your property:

  • Knock at your front door and introduce themselves
  • Show their City of Medicine Hat photo identification card (can produce a business card upon request)
  • Provide a reason for being at your property
  • May ask to come into your home to review the interior property information
  • If you are not home, the assessor will complete the exterior review
  • If necessary, the assessor will leave a door hanger or business card with a number to call and set up an appointment for a review of the interior information

Under what authority can an assessor enter or inspect my property?

The Municipal Government Act, Revised Statutes of Alberta 2000, Chapter M-26, Sections 294, 295 provides the assessor with the right to enter on and inspect the property to carry out their duties and responsibilities.

Municipal Government Act

Mail-out survey reviews

Each year select neighbourhoods are sent a survey to complete. If your property is in one of these areas, you will receive a survey in the mail.

Single Family Residential Survey

Non-residential and multi-family property assessment

Campgrounds and mobile home parks

Campgrounds and mobile home parks in the city are primarily valued using the income approach to value. This valuation approach uses the typical net operating income to estimate the market value. The valuation formula for properties assessed using the income approach is:

Market value = net operating income ÷ capitalization rate

2020 Assessment Year Campground Assessment Methodology 

2020 Assessment Year Mobile Home Park Assessment Methodology

Commercial and industrial property

Improved non-residential properties in the city are primarily valued using the income approach to value. This valuation approach capitalizes a property's stabilized, market typical net operating income to come up with an estimate of market value. The valuation formula for properties assessed using the income approach is:

Market value = net operating income ÷ capitalization rate

2020 Assessment Year Non-Residential Methodology 

This document does not apply for properties that are valued solely using the cost approach. Please speak to an assessor for details on those properties.

Hotels and motels

Hotels and motels in the city are primarily valued using the income approach to value. This valuation approach capitalizes a property's stabilized market typical net operating income to come up with an estimate of market value. The valuation formula for properties assessed using the income approach is:

Market value = net operating income ÷ capitalization rate

2020 Assessment Year Hotel/Motel Methodology 

Multi-family properties

Multi-Family properties in the city are primarily valued using the income approach to value. This valuation approach capitalizes a property's stabilized market typical net operating income to come up with an estimate of market value. The valuation formula for properties assessed using the income approach is:

Market value = net operating income ÷ capitalization rate

2020 Assessment Year Multi-Family Methodology Documentation

Assessment Request for Information (ARFI) forms

Each year the City of Medicine Hat mails out Assessment Request for Information (ARFI) forms to non-residential properties in the city. The information gathered helps produce an accurate, fair, and equitable assessment roll each year. Completion of the forms is also mandated by the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and its associated regulations. Failure to complete the forms may result in the loss of the ability to appeal an assessment. 


Misplaced your ARFI form?

Assessment Request for Information (ARFI) Package - Industrial / Office / Retail / Retail Plaza / Shopping Center 

Assessment Request for Information (ARFI) Package - Hotel / Motel 

Assessment Request for Information (ARFI) Form - Multi-Family

Assessment Request for Information (ARFI) Form -  Senior Facility

If you own a property type other than those listed above, such as a campground, mobile home park, or mini storage please contact us to get the appropriate form.


Need help completing your ARFI form? 

Sample OWNER Occupied ARFI

Sample TENANT Occupied ARFI 

Supplementary assessment

A supplementary assessment is the increase in value of a property because of new building construction, addition or renovation completed and/or occupied during the current tax year.

It is based on the market value of new construction during the current year and the number of months of completion and/or occupancy. This will also affect properties where the buildings were not completed at December 31 of the year prior to the current tax year and are now complete and/or occupied.

Properties with a supplementary assessment will receive two assessment/tax notices in one year.

How is a supplementary assessment different from an annual assessment?

An annual assessment is the market value of a property based on the status and condition as of December 31 of the previous year. These are mailed out at the end of May.

A supplementary assessment is based on the market value of new construction during the current year and the number of months it was completed and/or occupied. This also affects

properties where the buildings were not completed at December 31 of the year prior to the current tax year and are now complete and/or occupied.

Both annual and supplementary assessments are based on typical market values of a property as of July 1 of the previous year.

What is supplementary tax and how is it calculated?

A supplementary tax is based on the new total assessment minus the previous assessment billed on the annual tax notice. It is calculated with this formula:

(Final assessed value at completed construction) - (Previous assessed value) x (Number of months completed and / or occupied) / (12) x (Current tax rate)

When is the supplementary assessment notice sent out?

Supplementary assessment notices are sent out at the end of October each year, and property owners are required to pay the bill within 30 days.