Taxation and Assessment
In Alberta, the amount of tax a property owner pays is according to the value of the property (your assessment). Properties are assessed as of July 1 of the previous year (as per the Municipal Government Act) and reflect the market value of the property at that time.
Combined property assessment and tax notices are sent to residents before the end of May each year. Taxes are due by end of the last business day in June each year. The deadline to appeal your property’s assessed value is 60 days after the date of mailing of the notices. Please read your combined notice and all inserts carefully to get information on methods of payment, appealing your assessment and penalty dates.
The Town of Fort Macleod contracts out our assessment services to Benchmark Assessment Consultants Inc. For questions on your assessment please contact the assessment contractors at 403-381-0535.
Municipal Tax Information
As per the Municipal Government Act, a budget for the municipality must be prepared each year.
Following budget discussions, Administration presents the draft budget at a Council meeting. Final budget approval usually takes place after a review of priorities and consideration of the current economic climate. The tax rate is set each year in May after completion of the annual assessment and receipt of the provincial education tax requirement.
The municipal tax rates for are per our 2016 Mill Rate Bylaw. This bylaw shows how taxes are paid to the Town of Fort Macleod, the Alberta School Foundation Fund (for provincial education school taxes) and to the Willow Creek Foundation (for our seniors’ lodge requisition).
Municipal taxes are used to pay for a wide variety of services including policing, fire protection, road maintenance, infrastructure planning and maintenance, community and social services, recreation amenities and programs, parks and pathway creation and maintenance, community events and festivals, economic development, library contributions and more. For information on assessment and taxes read this brochure.
Education Tax Information
The Town of Fort Macleod is required by legislation to bill and collect school taxes on behalf of the Provincial government. The Town forwards these education taxes directly to the Province quarterly.
While the Town bills and collects education taxes, the Town has no jurisdiction or control over school board budgets or operations.
Each year the province calculates the amount that each municipality must contribute towards the public education system. The calculation is based on a formula that includes the amount of assessment in each municipality. Learn more about the Education Tax rate here.
Seniors’ Lodge Information
The Town of Fort Macleod is required by legislation to bill and collect the requisition on behalf of the Willow Creek Foundation that operates the seniors’ lodge and seniors’ social housing in our community. The Town forwards this money directly to the Foundation when it is collected.
Learn more about the Willow Creek Foundation here.
Paying your Taxes
The Town of Fort Macleod allows you to pay your taxes using the following methods:
- Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP) – this program allows you to make twelve (12) payments throughout the year to pay your property taxes.
- EFT Payments through your financial institution – The Town of Fort Macleod is set up as a bill (both for taxes and utilities) at CIBC, ATB, TD-Canada Trust and the Chinook Credit Union. You can pay on your taxes at any time, however, if you are not on the TIPP program your property taxes must be paid in full by the last business day in June.
- You can also pay at the Town Office with a debit card, cheque or cash. NO CREDIT CARDS are accepted for tax payments.
- If you are unavailable on the last date of June to make your payment, you can leave Town staff a postdated cheque or set up your payment through your financial institution. (WATCH for processing times with your bank and ensure you pay it early enough that it is deposited into the Town’s bank account by the last business day in June).
Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPPs)
If you want to avoid that large one-time tax payment or just average your expenses, the Town of Fort Macleod offers the Tax Installment Payment Plan.
What is the Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP)?
This optional plan allows property owners to pay taxes by automatic monthly debit from their bank account. As a TIPP participant, you are not required to make an annual lump sum tax payment. Your taxes can be paid in monthly installments on the 15th of each month and adjusted automatically on an annual basis to reflect any tax changes for the current year.
The monthly payment is calculated by dividing your annual property tax by 12. You will still receive a tax notice in June that shows your current taxes but it will also show a credit amount that is equal to the payments made to date.
Annual Tax Levy = January to June payments + July to December payments.
How do I participate in the Tax Installment Payment Plan?
To participate in the TIPP program:
- Complete the TIPP Application Form
- Return the form and your void cheque to the Town Office before December 15th to be enrolled into the TIPP program for the next calendar year.
- The first payment will be withdrawn from your account on the 15th of January.
- Payments will continue to be withdrawn unless you submit a TIPP Termination Form
- Payments will be automatically adjusted each year (in July) to account for any changes in the tax rate.
When we know your next year’s tax amount, we will automatically adjust your payment on July 15 to an amount creating a zero balance by year end (December 31).
The new payment amount will remain in effect until the following years tax notice is mailed when your payment is re-adjusted. For more information please call the Tax Department at (403) 553-4425 or email us at [email protected].
Note: The provincial government has a property tax assistance program for seniors. Visit their website to learn more.