Property Tax Edmonton: 6 Alberta Towns With Low Property Tax Rates

Posted by Edmonton Homes.ca on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022 at 2:40pm.

Best Suburbs Near Edmonton, AB

If you had the option to pay lower property taxes while still having access to world-class amenities, would you? That's a question many homebuyers ask themselves. The city of Edmonton has many wonderful qualities that make it a wonderful place to live. Edmonton's museums and parks are among some of the best in Alberta, yet those amenities come at a cost. In many places, homeowners feel the sting of property taxes, which leaves many prospective homeowners wondering, "Which suburbs have lower property taxes?" Fortunately, some of the best Edmonton suburbs are perfect for homebuyers who want to live near the city while reducing their cost of living.

How Property Taxes Are Calculated in Alberta

Among the many homeownership expenses, one of the most important costs to consider is property taxes. As with most taxes, property taxes are crucial for funding the many public spaces within the community, including parks, community centres, and more. How property taxes are assessed in Alberta municipalities is based on the percentage of the property's value, including the assessed home and land value.

Municipal and Education Tax

Now that we know where property taxes go and how they are calculated, how are they divided? Alberta's property taxes are divided into two main categories: municipal taxes and provincial education taxes. As its name suggests, municipal taxes fund municipal expenses, such as the fire department, the police department, public transit, local infrastructure, and more. Provincial education taxes are used to fund Alberta's primary and secondary schools.

Municipal property tax rates are determined based on the municipality's budgetary needs to fund these public services. So how do municipalities calculate this? Municipal property taxes are set by the city and account for approximately 70% of a homeowner's total property tax amount.

Each homeowner's share of municipal property taxes is based on the city's budget and the total assessed value of all properties in a municipality. The costs of services are distributed among all Edmonton properties in the following manner: budget ÷ total assessed value of all properties = municipal tax rate. If more tax revenue is needed, tax rates will go up. Property taxes will decrease if less tax revenue is needed to fund the municipality than in the previous year.

Municipalities also set educational taxes. Alberta municipalities set an annual tax rate and are expected to fund education based on their assessment base. Then, municipalities determine how they fund the education tax and establish tax rates as needed.

Property Assessment

Each municipality must complete a property assessment to calculate how much homeowners owe in property taxes. Alberta properties are assessed annually according to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs guidelines and the Alberta Assessment and Property Tax Policy Unit. Contrasting other Canadian provinces, Alberta assesses properties based on market value. As a result, there are three different methods for municipalities to calculate a property's market value:

  • Sales Comparison Approach - the most common approach; compares sales of similar properties in the assessment year to determine the valuation of a property.
  • Cost Approach - the method typically used for new builds; determines the value of the property based on the cost to rebuild that property based on the current market standards.
  • Income Approach - most often used for rental or commercial properties; determines the property's value based on how much income the property generates.

Depending on the approach used, each municipality determines the value of the property based on the current market's standard.

Fort Saskatchewan

Fort Saskatchewan Suburb of Edmonton

Set along the southern banks of the North Saskatchewan River, Fort Saskatchewan is a beautiful, idyllic city with a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Located just 25 kilometres northwest of Downtown Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan is one of the area's fastest-growing towns, with around 27,000 residents.

Along with the town's historic fort, Fort Saskatchewan is home to many charming historic homes and some of the area's best gardens, public green spaces, and sports arenas. One of the area's biggest draws is the Down Centennial Centre, which includes an ice arena, gym, fitness centre, and indoor track. Another popular amenity is the Fort Saskatchewan Public Library, located next to Fort Saskatchewan's historic city hall.

It is also home to some of the area's most beautiful city parks, including Turner Park, which overlooks the river. Fort Saskatchewan also has low property taxes compared to other area suburbs. Fort Saskatchewan's property taxes are calculated based on the mill rate, which is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in the assessed property value. Ex: Municipal Property Taxes = Assessment x (Municipal tax rate ÷ 1000). This same formula applies to school and foundation taxes in Fort Saskatchewan.

Fort Saskatchewan Amenities

  • Jubilee Recreation Centre
  • Jubilee Park Community Garden
  • Pryce Alderson Park
  • Clover Park Community Garden

Devon

Located 26 kilometres southwest of Edmonton, Devon is a small historic town on the North Saskatchewan River. Once known as a tiny, remote village, Devon became the site of one of the world's largest oil discoveries, which resulted in the area's development in the 1940s. Today, Devon is a tranquil, peaceful town just minutes from Downtown Edmonton. With a population of around 6,500 people, Devon has plenty of wonderful amenities for its residents, from hospitals to nature trails and everything in between.

One of Devon's most popular sites is Devon Voyageur Park, a popular launchpad for floating down the North Saskatchewan River. The park also offers sandy beaches, picnic tables, nature trails, and more. Along with Devon Voyageur Park, this town has many facilities that host year-round outdoor activities, including skiing, skating, golf, bike trails, hiking, soccer fields, and more. It also has some of the area's most charming homes, including historic bungalow homes, townhouses, and single-family detached homes. Contrasting other areas, which use the percentage system based on property value, Devon calculates their property taxes based on a Municipal Mill Rate, which is around 8.94% of the total property value.

Devon Amenities

  • Devon General Hospital
  • Devon Golf & Conference Centre
  • Dale Fisher Arena
  • Devon Community Centre

Stony Plain

Stony Plain Suburb of Edmonton

Known as "The Town With the Painted Past," Stony Plain is a vibrant, eclectic town west of Edmonton. Stony Plain's history dates back to the late 19th century, yet the origins of its name are debated. Some claim it came from the Stoney People who originally lived in the area, while others claim it came from geologist Dr. James Hector, who noticed boulders scattered across the area. In any case, the village was officially incorporated in 1907. Today, it is known for the beautiful murals painted throughout the town.

Along with the spectacular, colourful murals, Stony Plain also has many wonderful amenities for its residents. Stony Plain jointly owns and operates the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre sports complex, which is located in neighbouring Spruce Grove. It is also home to the Multicultural Heritage Centre, the Pioneer Museum, and multiple parks throughout the town. Along with many amenities, Stony Plain is a highly desirable place to live, with low property taxes. Stony Plain's property taxes are calculated based on a percentage, which is 0.911135 % of the home's assessed value.

Stony Plain Amenities

  • Multicultural Heritage Centre
  • Glenn Hall Centennial Arena
  • Stony Plain Public Library
  • Stony Plain & Parkland Pioneer Museum

Sherwood Park

Set in Strathcona County, Sherwood Park is one of the more unique municipalities in the Edmonton area. First and foremost, Sherwood Park has a population of 72,000 residents. And while it would be considered Alberta's sixth largest city, Sherwood Park is actually a hamlet, making it one of the country's largest hamlets. Established in the mid-1950s, Sherwood Park was developed on the Smeltzer family farm and eventually became its own municipality. Today, Sherwood Park is recognized by the Government of Alberta as an Urban Service Area equivalent to a city while maintaining its hamlet status.

Sherwood Park is well-known for its art, culture, and nature trails. Some of the most popular sites in the area include Smeltzer House Centre for Visual Arts, Loft Gallery, and Strathcona County Museum and Archives. Another unique aspect of living in Sherwood Park is its affordability. While many other municipalities have increased property tax rates recently, Strathcona County has not raised its property tax rates since 2018. This makes it one of the most affordable places for property taxes in the Edmonton Metropolitan Area. Another aspect of Sherwood Park's property taxes unique to the area is its property assessment tool, which calculates property taxes based on the home's value.

Sherwood Park Amenities

  • Sherwood Park Mall
  • Baseline Village Mall
  • Strathcona County Library
  • Broadmoor Lake Park

Spruce Grove

Spruce Grove Suburb of Edmonton

Located 11 kilometres west of Edmonton, Spruce Grove is a spectacular town known for its sports and outdoor activities. Set adjacent to the town of Stony Plains, Spruce Grove is the hometown of some of the country's most decorated Winter Olympic athletes, including Jennifer Heil and Carla MacLeod. Spruce Grove is the home of the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre, co-owned and operated by the city of Stony Plains. It was built in 2002 and includes a pool, soccer fields, a gymnasium, a workout gym, and ice rinks for residents. Spruce Grove is also the home of the Myshak Metro Ballpark, which will become the home stadium of the Edmonton Prospects, Edmonton's collegiate summer baseball team.

Located about 30 minutes from Downtown Edmonton, Spruce Grove is a quiet, residential area with over 33,000 residents. It is a popular municipality for commuters coming to and from Edmonton for work. This highly desirable area has low property taxes. Spruce Grove's property taxes are 0.94508% of the area's property value.

Spruce Grove Amenities

  • Atim Creek Natural area
  • The Links At Spruce Grove
  • TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre
  • Spruce Grove Grain Elevator Museum

Edmonton

At the heart of the Edmonton Metropolitan Area is the City of Edmonton, Alberta's capital city. Edmonton, set along the North Saskatchewan River, is one of Alberta's cultural hubs, with a rich heritage dating back to the 18th century. Founded in 1795, Edmonton was a city most famous for fur trading. Today, Edmonton is a beautiful city with some of the best neighbourhoods in Alberta, where homebuyers can purchase stylish condos and elegant luxury homes.

While Edmonton is not by any means a suburb, there are many reasons it's worth moving here. It's home to some of the province's finest museums, sports arenas, and art galleries. One of the area's most popular attractions is the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, the home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Edmonton is also home to many professional sports teams, including the Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Elks. Compared to many other major cities in Canada, Edmonton is an affordable major city with incredibly low property taxes. Edmonton's property tax rate of 0.958920% of the total property value.

Edmonton Amenities

  • TELUS World of Science
  • Muttart Conservatory
  • Alberta Aviation Museum
  • Downtown Community Arena

Navigating Property Taxes in Edmonton

Not only is Edmonton one of Alberta's most desirable cities, but it also has a wide range of communities with affordable property taxes, all while providing nearly every amenity imaginable. By knowing more about how property taxes are calculated, homeowners can better know which area is right for them.

If you're looking to make your home in Edmonton, contact Terry Paranych in partnership with Justin Havre at (780) 665-4888 to get in touch with an Edmonton real estate agent and discover your ideal Edmonton home today.

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