March 3rd, 2024

Property taxes expected to rise 4.3 per cent for single-family home

By COLLIN GALLANT on February 9, 2024.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

The city’s total tax assessment value has risen above $10 billion, but tax increases could be slightly more than expected this summer as new construction added less assessment value than predicted, a city committee heard Thursday.

But that could still change before the 2024 tax roll is finalized and rates are set this spring, officials told council’s corporate services committee meeting.

“It’s difficult to budget growth that will occur in a year before it happens,” said city chief assessor Sue Sterkenberg, noting that new construction, sometimes called assessment growth, totalled $70.8 million, or 0.7 per cent growth.

“We still could get there,” added Sterkenberg. “We still have to receive the designated industrial property assessment (information) from the province.”

The city budget includes a growth forecast of 1 per cent to take care of one-fifth of a called-for 5 per cent tax increase in the city budget.

The difference equates to a 0.3 per cent property tax increase, about $8 to a single-family homeowner in the existing tax base, bringing the expected tax increase to 4.3 per cent.

Sterkenberg also informed committee members the cumulative value of all assessed properties within city limits has risen to $10.235 billion in 2024, up from $9.89 billion in 2023.

That is in part to $60 million in new single-family housing value, $10.2 million in new non-residential construction and $600,000 added to the multi-family class.

Property condition is combined with market value at July 1 of the previous year, and sales values also rose.

The overall median change for non-residential properties was 2.6 per cent, equal to the change in commercial properties. Industrial property saw a 2.3 per cent change, while other non-residential building types were larger, including hotels (4 per cent), multi-family buildings (6 per cent) and senior multi-family facilities (4 per cent).

“(Hotel values) are slowly recovering from decreases that we’ve seen in the past,” said Sterkenberg. “We use a three-year (measurement), with the heaviest weight put on the most recent year.”

Median changes in values for residential class were:

– Single-family residential , 2.8 per cent;

– Triplex and four-plex, 6 per cent;

– Residential condominium units, 2.3 per cent;

– Manufactured homes, 3 per cent, and;

– Manufactured home parks, 5 per cent.

Assessment notices will be mailed out by Feb. 28, after which council will determine the tax rates in April ahead of tax bills mailed on May 21.

Taxes are due on the last business day of June each year.

When assessment value rises or falls, the mill rate moves in opposite fashion so only the set amount of money is called for in the budget.

The 2024 budget calls for about $89 million in tax revenue, about $4.4 million more than 2023, which equates to about 5 per cent more.

Finance department officials estimate that 1 per cent would be covered by new construction, thereby making the estimated general tax increase about 4 per cent.

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