The Town of Okotoks has recently sent out property assessments, and they seem to have caused a bit of concern.
Property assessments are used to figure out how much each property has to pay towards the total community tax.
"Basically, we take what the asset value is of all of the residential homes in Okotoks" explains Chief Administrative Officer Elaine Vincent. "So, when we have to declare our assessment base, we report that number to the province. So, for the year 2023, if we added up the value of all of the homes in Okotoks, that value was $5.1 billion dollars."
For 2024, that value increased to $6.2 billion.
"So, that's really important to know, because that showed, we went from $5.1 to $6.2 billion. Basically, over a 20 per cent increase in the value of the homes. And we only added 100 new homes into the mix," explains Vincent. "It's a way to explain that shock you're going to get when you get your new assessment notice and you go, 'Oh my goodness! Wow is my home ever up in value!' And this is a way to understand that, on average, everyone's home value went up by 21 per cent. And so, you really want to take a look if you're outside of that average."
If your property assessment was less than the 21 per cent average, your property taxes won't be the full 4.6 per cent increase. If your assessment was above that 21 per cent, then your taxes will be higher.
"It's really important to note that the whole value of the town increased by over 20 per cent. So, your individual assessment notice, do not be surprised when you see that," adds Vincent.
Property taxes in Okotoks have been set to increase, on average, by 4.6 per cent, but the individual amount each property owner will pay depends solely on how much your home is worth compared to the average.
During the town council meeting on January 8th, Vincent addressed the best way to figure out how much you will have to pay in property taxes this year.
"So, the best thing to do is to take your property assessment last year, take the amount of tax that you paid, and multiply that by 4.6 per cent. That should be approximately where your new tax bill is."