Calgary property owners brace for tax assessments

The city of Calgary made its property assessments public Tuesday, and many homeowners want to know why, if the local economy is plunging, the perceived value of their homes isn't as well.

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While Calgary homeowners wait to receive their property assessments in the mail, many residents like Ed Cocciardi, who lives in the Tuscany area of Calgary, have already checked online for their assessments.

Cocciardi said he was surprised when he saw his assessment.

"When I checked online, my house was far and above everybody else's, which it really shouldn't have been," he told CTV Calgary, explaining that he may file an appeal.

Nelson Karpa, an assessor with the city of Calgary, said the figures are based on the assessed value of homes on July 1, 2015.

"The way to think about it is, 'What would my property have sold for on July 1, 2015?'" he explained. "And that's really what we're trying to capture in the 2016 assessment notice."

But many residents point out that a lot has changed in the local economy in the last six months as the plunging price of oil has seen the price of homes in the area drop too.

Cocciardi said it's frustrating, because city residents already pay a lot in taxes.

"I think we pay well and enough taxes in Calgary already," he said.

The city says that current real estate values will be reflected in next summer's assessment.

Karpa said overall, the assessments are good news considering the state of the provincial economy.

"We saw a small number of extremely high value properties drop significantly, but the bulk of our assessment base – being moderately priced properties and lower value properties – actually maintain and slightly increase their value," he said.

The city said a typical family will see a one to two per cent drop in this year's assessment compared to last year. The biggest increase will be seen by those who own condos or industrial properties. The biggest decrease will be seen by those with high value homes and downtown office spaces.

With a report from CTV Calgary's Chris Epp



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