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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a PROPERTY ASSESSMENT?
An assessment is the calculation of the value of your property as of a specific date. The City does assessments so it can decide what share of the total tax each property owner must pay.
What is an ANNUAL ASSESSMENT?
Annual assessments reflect any changes in property value for that year.  Adding improvements or removing assets may increase or decrease a property’s value, and the annual assessment reflects this.
What is a GENERAL ASSESSMENT?
A general assessment means that new values are established for all properties in the city. The City of Yellowknife conducts a general assessment every five years.  A general assessment takes into account factors like inflation, deflation, improvements and other factors that can change the value of a property over time.
Why does the City conduct regular General Assessments?
The City of Yellowknife conducts regular general assessments to reflect factors such as market changes, inflation, and depreciation, and to ensure that new developments and property improvements are recognized.
If the assessed value of my property goes up in a General Assessment year, does that mean that my property taxes will increase?
 Not necessarily. A change in the assessed value of your property does not necessarily result in a similar proportionate change to your property taxes.
Will my taxes increase if my property assessment increases?
An increase in your property assessment does not mean your taxes will automatically go up by the same amount. Your assessment indicates the estimated value of your property. The property tax rate, which is based on budget requirements, is what determines how much your taxes will be. The tax rate is set by City Council each year.
How does my property assessment affect my property taxes?
 The City uses the assessed value of your property to determine your share of municipal property taxes and your share of territorial education taxes.
Does a change in my property assessment affect my property taxes?
 

It might. A change in your property taxes is typically a result of three factors:

  1. Changes in the amount of money required to fund City operations;
  2. Changes in the amount of money required by the school boards; or
  3. Whether the change in your property’s assessed value is higher or lower than the average change in property values in the City.
Example: If the value of your property increased by 5%while the average increase in property values in the municipality was 2%, then your property taxes may increase.
If Council has approved a municipal tax increase, does that mean my property taxes will go up? 

It might. A municipal tax increase means the City will collect more municipal taxes, in total, from the taxable assessment base. You may experience a tax increase or decrease depending on how your property assessment has changed relative to the average change in property values. In  general terms, to determine the mill rates for a given year the City considers the total amount of revenue to be raised from property taxes and divides that by the total assessed values of taxable properties. The tax levy for a specific property is then calculated by multiplying the assessed value of that property by the appropriate mill rate (different types of property uses are assigned different mill rates).

Example: If Council approved a tax increase from residential properties and the average residential market increase is 2%, this would mean that if your residential property assessment has increased by more than 2%, you will have a corresponding higher total tax increase.
When are assessment notices mailed?
Assessment notices are mailed at the beginning of January each year to the current ratepayers on record.  They reflect previous and current year assessment values for both the buildings and land.
How can I find out how my property assessment compares to other properties?
Ratepayers are encouraged to compare their assessments to others in their neighbourhoods using the CityExplorer tool on the City’s website. For land comparisons, ensure similarity of location, lot size and zoning.  For building comparisons, ensure similarity of age, quality, style and size.
If I do not agree with my property assessment, what can I do?
If you have concerns about the information in your assessment notice, you should contact the assessor. If after having a discussion with the assessor, you are still of the opinion that your assessment is incorrect, you have the option to file a written complaint with the City’s Board of Revision as long as it is filed within the defined complaint period. Instructions can be found on your assessment notice.
I have filed a complaint regarding the assessment of my property. Do I still need to pay my property taxes?
Yes, you must still pay your taxes by the due date to avoid penalties. If a decision on your complaint results in a lower tax levy, you will be credited the appropriate amount.
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