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Property Tax Rates

Cypress County has long had the benefit to have a low stable tax base, however the County recognises the need to plan and prepare for the future given an ever-changing economy, and the changing landscape of municipal funding. Therefore, Cypress County recognises a need to initiate appropriate adjustments to tax rates to ensure the County remains sustainable and viable.

Over the past few years it appears Provincial policy changes in the Assessment and Taxation are all directed at shifting some of the tax burden to Residential and Farmland property owners. Cypress County Council has taken careful steps toward both: protecting an equitable Assessment and Taxation system and making critical timely decisions toward absorbing large changes in Taxation levels.

Council sets the tax rates based on the amount of property tax revenue that is required to pay for the services provided by the County. Individual property assessment and taxes usually change each year due to the requirements of the annual budget, and year-to-year changes in property value.
Cypress County is required to collect education, seniors' lodging, and Designated Industrial Property (DIP) tax on behalf of the Province of Alberta (seen in the breakdown below). Cypress County tax rates are set annually by Council.


 

County property taxes are calculated based on the application of the following formula of:  Assessed Value x Residential Tax Rate

 

Factors that were considered for setting the tax rates in 2021 include:
 
History:
  • Since 2015 Cypress County has seen a $1 billion reduction in industry Assessment (nearly $6 million per year).
  • Through prudent governance and administration Cypress County has been able to adapt to these drastic changes.
  • Another round of Provincial Policies that will impact Cypress County are on the horizon. 
Threats to County sustainability:
  • Reduction of Municipal Grant funding
  • Proposed Provincial Policing Model
  • Assessment Model Review/ Shallow Gas Tax Rebate Initiative (SGTRI)
Solution:
  • To recognise today what tomorrow brings and make directed effort over time to minimize drastic changes in taxation levels and change in services.
  • Over the past few years Cypress County has been investigating an appropriate path forward to adapt to the financial challenges coming. One of the solutions surrounded tax rates. A methodology to transition tax rates for all property classes to the 20th percentile comparatively in the Province was determined the fairest and most appropriate moving forward. This transition will happen over time and with other initiatives secure the Counties ability to provide value-based services. 
  • The 20th percentile means if we compare 100 municipalities: 19 would have a lower tax rate and 80 municipalities would have a higher tax rate. 
  • The residential property tax class currently sits at the 20th percentile
 The below chart shows the breakdown of tax revenue the County receives:

 

 

What the Municipal Portion of your Property Tax Pays for:

The County has many Capital Assets that need to be maintained, the below chart shows the breakdown of those assets:

 

 

Each year Council set a budget for operations and one for capital projects. The below chart shows how the operating budget is broken down:

 

There are several options for paying your County taxes:
 
The Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP) provides property owners with the opportunity to make 12 consecutive monthly property tax payments instead of a single, annual payment. Payments can only be made by automatic withdrawals from a bank account. Please send TIPP enrollment forms to tipp@cypress.ab.ca  

Other Ways to Pay
 
You can make payments in person at the County office in Dunmore between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday.

  • Please bring your tax notice
  • Interac payments are accepted. Check with your financial institution to ensure your transaction limit is sufficient.
  • Through online banking with your tax roll number
  • Pay online with OptionPay (only this method can be used for credit card payments)
  • There is an after-hours mail slot available, but only for payments by cheque
  • By Mail (mail must be post marked by June 30, please note that not all mail submitted to Canada Post is not post marked on the day it is dropped on the slot. 
  • Financial Institutions
  • Through your mortgage company
  • In person at the County Office
  • Please Note: Failure to receive your tax notice is not sufficient reason for late payment.  
If Canada Post has recently changed your mailing address, or you have moved, remember to update your tax account to ensure continued delivery of your assessment and tax notices. There are two options to update your property tax address with Cypress County:
  • Through the online form
  • In person at the office
You should also update your address with the Land Titles Office to ensure your correct mailing address is recorded on the Certificate of Title. Visit Service Alberta for more information.
A tax certificate provides the roll number, legal description, levy, current balance, utility account balance and monthly tax payment plan amount. 
There is a $25.00 fee, which can be paid by cheque, Visa, or MasterCard (faxed or emailed copies of cheques are not accepted). Please send requests to taxcert@cypress.ab.ca  . Please note there is a three to four business day turnaround to process tax certificates. A copy of the certificate will be faxed and the original sent by mail.