Assessment numbers for town properties show modest growth

At a March 25 regular meeting of council, Lance Wehlage of Benchmark Assessment Consultants Inc. presented the numbers extracted from this year’s assessments. In Alberta, the assessor is legislated to prepare assessments annually, and those are legislated based on market value using mass appraisal methodology. The numbers reflect the market value of property as of July 1, 2023 and the physical condition date of December 31, 2023. They are then applied to the tax year 2024.

The council agenda said market change is the year-over-year changes in market conditions that have resulted in increases or decreases from July 1, 2022 to July 1, 2023. That includes increases or decreases in value due to changing market demands for certain locations or physical characteristics.

In the Town of Taber, the residential market change was assessed at plus 5.9 per cent. The majority of residential accounts (almost 2,800) in town saw an increase in assessment value of between four and eight per cent. The overall residential growth was assessed against the previous base and showed an increase of over $6 million. Vacant land did not improve as much in value as improved properties did.

The non-residential market change in Taber was assessed at plus 7.9 per cent. The majority of non-residential accounts (220) landed in the six to eight per cent increase range. A total of 86 accounts were assessed at an increase of over 12 per cent, and Wehlage said that most of those were vacant industrial lots which are higher in value and push up the overall growth figure. The overall non-residential growth was assessed against the previous base and increased by roughly $5.8 million.

The overall combined valuation of both residential and non-residential accounts was plus 1.1 per cent, or $11,829,000.

Single-family dwellings in Taber (not including condominiums) were assessed at a median value of $260,000. The median assessments of 12 comparable municipalities from Redcliff to Cardston to Nanton were graphed, and both Taber and Brooks occupied the midpoint of the graph, with Taber’s median value slightly higher. Vauxhall sat at the low end of the graph with a median value of $189,500 and Coaldale perched atop the high end at $318,000.

A municipal comparison graph for industrial accounts showed Vulcan at the low end, with a median of $118,500 and Taber and Coaldale at the high end. Coaldale’s median industrial assessment was listed as $624,000 and Taber’s $554,000.

Two additional graphs of median office and median retail assessments were submitted to council and both had Taber landing close to the midpoint. For retail assessments Coalhurst was far above the crowd in median value, coming in at $706,500. Wehlage told council that the results for retail were often less meaningful because a municipality with only a few high-value retail properties would graph more favourably than a town with many lower valued ones. Coaldale was a distant second at $468,000 for retail, but it rated highest for median office value at $736,000.

Overall, the assessment graph indicated that the highest dollar valuations across the board were attributed to offices, but Wehlage told council that the median numbers for residences and industrial were more accurate indicators of value within the town.

Cal Braid, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, The Taber Times