Calgary is rapidly expanding and is among the fastest-growing cities in Canada. It boasts a robust economy, an abundance of amenities, and is in close proximity to some of the country’s most thrilling outdoor activities. For those considering a move to Calgary, there are numerous superb suburbs to choose from, each with its own unique offerings. But how do people go about selecting the right one? While town or city size, distance to work, and nearby amenities all play a role in determining where people reside, one crucial and often neglected factor is property taxes. To find out where in Calgary homeowners pay the least amount of taxes, keep reading.
The amount a homeowner pays in property taxes is influenced by various factors. Property taxes in Alberta are a tax on both land and property and are calculated based on a percentage of the assessed value of the property. The specific percentage rate is dependent on the location of the property.
In Alberta, property taxes comprise two primary components: municipal taxes and provincial education taxes. Municipal taxes are utilized to fund local expenses, such as infrastructure, police and fire departments. On the other hand, provincial education taxes are employed to support primary and secondary education across Alberta.
The municipal property tax rates are established based on the municipality’s budgetary requirements to support these public services. To create a budget, cities assess their anticipated spending and other revenue streams and utilize property taxes to cover the remaining expenses. Property taxes for that year depend on the municipality’s budget and its total assessment base or tax base. If more tax revenue is needed, tax rates will increase, whereas if less tax revenue is required than in the previous year, property taxes for that year will decrease.
Additionally, municipalities set educational taxes, with Alberta municipalities setting a tax rate annually to finance education based on their assessment base. Cities determine how to support the education tax and adjust fixed tax rates accordingly.
Annually, the Alberta Assessment and Property Tax Policy Unit assesses properties in Alberta using guidelines from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. In contrast to other provinces in the vicinity, Alberta evaluates properties based on their market value. The municipalities in Alberta utilize one of three principal approaches to determine a property’s market value:
The Sales Comparison Approach is the most prevalent approach, where a property’s valuation is determined by comparing the sales of comparable properties during the assessment year.
The Cost Approach is used for new builds, where the value of a property is established based on the cost of rebuilding it.
The Income Approach is employed to evaluate the value of income-generating properties such as commercial or rental properties.
Calaway Park, Western Canada’s largest amusement park
CrossIron Mills, Alberta’s newest shopping destination
Beiseker Station Museum
Rocky View County, initially known as The Municipal District (MD) of Calgary No. 44, is a rural county located north of Downtown Calgary real estate, forming a horseshoe shape. The county is home to just over 39,000 residents and consists of fourteen hamlets and various subdivisions. Rocky View County’s natural beauty is among its major draws, with breathtaking views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, grassland prairies, and clear skies. Although municipal taxes and provincial taxes are calculated differently for residents, the combined total is what they should expect to pay. As Rocky View County is mostly rural, residents must decide if they can reside on a residential or farmland property. Municipal taxes for single-family residents not living on a farm are 0.0025511, or 0.255% of the total value of their home and land. Provincial taxes are 0.0026768, or 0.267% of the entire property value, with a combined total of 0.0052836, or 0.528% of the real property value.
Rocky View County’s abundant outdoor activities make it a highly attractive place to live, with sixteen golf courses, including the River Spirit Golf Club and Bearspaw Golf Club, for golf enthusiasts. For home buyers searching for an affordable rural county located just 25 minutes from Downtown Calgary, Rocky View County is an excellent option.
Leighton Art Centre, Gallery, and Museum
Museum of the Highwood
Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area, Canada’s First Nocturnal Preserve
Rothney Astrophysical Observatory
Bar U Ranch
Foothills County is a rural county located south of Calgary, nestled in the foothills of southern Alberta. Despite not having any major cities within its borders, Foothills County is just a 35-minute drive away from Calgary and boasts a population of over 22,000 people living in five towns, ten hamlets, or rural communities. Due to its proximity to both Calgary and the Rocky Mountains, Foothills County is rapidly growing in popularity. The property tax rates in Foothills County are incredibly reasonable, with residents paying only 0.658% of their property’s total value in property taxes.
Although Foothills County is primarily a rural area, there are many attractions available for residents to enjoy. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of several campgrounds, such as Riverbend, Hogg Park, and Okotoks Lions Sheep River, while golfers can choose from eight golf courses, including Crystal Ridge Golf Course and Heritage Pointe. With its stunning natural beauty, close proximity to Calgary, and a wide range of recreational activities, Foothills County is an excellent choice for buyers who want to experience the rugged outdoors while being a short drive away from urban amenities.
Nose Creek Valley Museum
Chinook Winds Regional Park
Iron Horse Park
Standard Tap Public House
Airdrie, a smaller but bustling city located just north of the Calgary metropolitan area, is gaining popularity among homebuyers. With a population of just over 68,000, Airdrie is comprised of several neighbourhoods, which gives the city a charming small-town feel while offering big-city amenities. For sports enthusiasts, Airdrie boasts many sports teams, such as the Knights of Airdrie and the Airdrie Irish. It is also a desirable location for commuters due to its proximity to Calgary. Airdrie is situated just 30 minutes from Downtown Calgary and has easy access to Hwy 2 and Hwy 201, making it one of the top suburbs for commuting to Calgary.
In addition to its convenience for commuters, Airdrie has a highly affordable tax rate, with residents paying only 0.749% of their property’s total value in property taxes.
For instance, a property valued at $500,000 will result in a property tax of $3,749 for Airdrie residents.
Cochrane Ranche, home of Alberta’s first large-scale ranch
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
Big Hill Springs Provincial Park
Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary
Studio West Bronze Foundry & Art Gallery
Salt Water Wellness Centre
Houses for sale in Cochrane, a small town situated to the west of Downtown Calgary, embody the western heritage of Alberta. Cochrane has a population of just over 34,000 people and retains its small-town feel despite steady growth. Homeowners in Cochrane can expect to pay an annual property tax of 0.763% of their property’s total value, which comprises municipal and provincial taxes and is reasonably affordable compared to other areas. The town is conveniently located just a 30-minute drive from Downtown Calgary, and its proximity to Highway 1A makes commuting easy. Cochrane is one of the most historically significant towns in Alberta, and its downtown is charming, with several shops, including the famous Mackay’s Ice Cream. Throughout the year, the town hosts several rodeos and horse shows. Cochrane is perfect for buyers seeking a rustic and charming small town located a short distance from the amenities of a big city.
Cobb’s Adventure Park
John Peake Park
Sweet Talk Stables
Heatherglen Golf Course
Chestermere Recreation Centre
A small town situated around a beautiful lake, the Chestermere community boasts one of the finest lakes in the Calgary region. Situated to the east of Downtown Calgary, Chestermere’s real estate market, previously known as Chestermere Lake, is home to just under 20,000 people but has been consistently growing over time. Despite its size, there are various real estate options for potential buyers, including townhouses and single-family homes. Among the most sought-after properties in Chestermere are lakefront homes, ranging from a one-bedroom condo to an expansive six-bedroom house. Although lakefront living can be expensive, Chestermere’s property taxes are quite reasonable, with the city levying property taxes equivalent to 0.767% of the property’s total value. Chestermere is ideal for those working in Calgary but want to reside in a waterfront home, being only 20 minutes away from Downtown Calgary.
Chestermere Lake is the main attraction in the town, with several trails, beaches, and parks around it. Water enthusiasts can partake in various activities, such as swimming, boating, fishing, and paddleboarding.
Calgary’s Tax Rates, on the other hand, can.
Living in a big city doesn’t always mean settling for high property taxes, and this is especially true for Calgary. With a property tax rate of 0.74%, Calgary offers a more affordable option than some of its suburbs, such as Airdrie and Cochrane. For those who are considering these suburbs, it may be worth looking into Calgary as well.
Calgary, which is Alberta’s prime location, is home to over 1.2 million people, making it
Canada’s third-largest city and the biggest city in Alberta. Its modern and up-to-date appeal is attributed to the city’s prosperous economy, which provides many job prospects, primarily in the oil industry. Calgary has shed its industrial image and is now one of Canada’s rapidly expanding cities with a lively food and entertainment scene.
Despite having an array of metropolitan amenities, Calgary provides lower tax rates than other major Canadian cities such as Vancouver or Montreal. Property taxes in Calgary are split into two types, municipal and provincial, with homeowners paying a percentage of the property’s combined land and home value. In Calgary, the municipal tax is 0.48% of the entire property value, and the provincial tax is 0.258% of the property’s actual value, making the combined property tax rate 0.74% of the total property value.
Homebuyers can select from various affordable communities in Calgary and should consider numerous factors when determining where to live, including proximity to amenities, employment opportunities, the airport, and affordability. Knowing how property taxes are computed can help homebuyers make informed decisions about where to purchase their homes.