Property taxes are the primary means by which Canadian municipalities, and Clearwater County, in particular, pay for the building and maintenance of roads and bridges; controlling agricultural pests and weeds; the provision of fire, ambulance and emergency services; seniors lodging; waste management; water and sewer services; recreation facilities, parks and campgrounds; and countless other services provided on behalf of citizens. It should be noted that about half of the property taxes levied in Clearwater County are mandated and levied on behalf of the Alberta Government to fund local schools and schools in other parts of the province.
Clearwater County's assessors work diligently to value property as fairly as possible in relation to similar property and provincial regulations and guidelines.
Property taxes are a way of fairly distributing the cost of providing local government services among ratepayers and businesses that use them. Property tax is calculated and billed annually using the property's
assessed value, as found on your property assessment notice, and the
Council-approved property tax rate for your class of property in the appropriate region. Check the Property Tax Calculator
to estimate breakdown of your property taxes.
Property Assessment Value ($) x Tax Rate (class of property) = Property Tax
The property tax system has two parts:
- Assessing the value of your property. (Completed by Clearwater County’s Assessment Department)
- Setting the annual tax rate. (Set annually by Council based upon the County’s budget as developed by the County’s Finance Department)
The Government of Alberta determines the criteria under which property assessment takes place. The criteria are dependent upon the type of property being assessed.
The municipal tax rate is set by Clearwater County Council annually. The overall tax rate is comprised of four different tax rates:
- Municipal Tax
- (Set by Clearwater County Council, and is the only revenue generated by the municipality)
- (The provincial government establishes the Educational Tax Rate, where Clearwater County is required to collect the Education/School taxes on behalf of Alberta Education, but had no jurisdiction in setting this Tax Rate)
- (Seniors tax is collected on behalf of Westview Lodge in Rocky Mountain House and the requisitioned amount is shared between Clearwater County, the Town of Rocky Mountain House and the Village of Caroline)
- (This is the amount of tax dollars that were not collected the previous year, but paid to Alberta Education)
2020 Municipal Property Tax Rates
During their regular meeting on May 12, 2020, Council set the 2020 Municipal Tax Rates with Bylaw 1093/20
reflecting a 0% municipal tax rate increase for all assessment classes, following a discussion on COVID-19 impacts and an extension on the first penalty date from September 15 to November 6, 2020
A new change is the creation of a sub-class for rural non-residential small businesses
, for which the tax rate has been set 25 per cent less than other non-residential properties for 2020. Information collected from small businesses will help the County establish a database to better identify business needs in the region to support and advance rural economic development. Lowering the tax rate for the small business sub-class and keeping municipal tax rates unchanged leaves a shortfall of $84,271 from the approximate $47,000,000 of budgeted tax revenue, this amount will be compensated through various departmental savings. Click here
to read the full news release in a new window.
2020 Property Taxes are due November 6, 2020
(mailing took place on June 12, 2020)
Tax Penalty Bylaw 986/14 indicates that an 8% penalty is applied on the day after the taxes are due (November 6, 2020) and 4% on December 16, 2020.
Change of Address Form
Need to update your records with a change of address? Please complete the Change of Address Form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org
*NEW* Payment Options
Payments can be made in person by debit or cheque (post-dated cheques are welcome). You can also make payments online or by mail. (Reminder: if cheques are returned by the bank, taxes are considered unpaid.)
Clearwater County now offers a convenient online payment option through PaySimply
. See below for all other payment options.