COVID-19 response: Education Property Tax Deferral for business

Collection of non-residential education property tax for businesses will be deferred for 6 months, or both the municipal and education property tax will be deferred for a shorter time that is of equivalent benefit.

Municipalities should set education tax rates as they normally would and should indicate to taxpayers the deferral approach they plan to use. Additional information for municipalities can be found in the materials below.

Businesses capable of paying their taxes in full are strongly encouraged to do so. Commercial landlords are strongly encouraged to pass on these savings to their tenants through reduced or deferred payments.

Overview

The education property tax provides Alberta's education system with a stable and sustainable source of revenue. The tax supports all public and separate school students and helps pay for basic instruction costs, including teacher salaries, textbooks and other classroom resources.

Funding to the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education system comes from 2 revenue sources:

  • general provincial revenues
  • education property taxes

Pooling the education property tax in the Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) ensures that students receive a quality education no matter where they live.

All property owners pay the education property tax (with some exceptions, such as non-profit organizations and seniors' lodge facilities). People who rent or lease property may also contribute indirectly through their monthly rent or lease payments. As the education system benefits everyone, people without children in school also pay it.

For more details, read the Education Property Tax: Facts and Information brochure.

How it is calculated

Every year the province calculates, based on assessment value, the amount each municipality must contribute towards the public education system.

Your share of the education property tax payment is based on the assessment value of your property and the local education property tax rate.

Mill rate

Municipal Affairs establishes the provincial mill rate used to determine each municipality's share of the provincial education tax.

In Budget 2020-21, the province planned to grow the annual requisition based on population growth plus inflation. This planned increase has been cancelled. Instead, in 2020-21 the province will collect about $2.5 billion, the same amount of revenue collected in 2019-20.

The provincial equalized assessment base used to determine education property taxes this year reflects 2018 property values. In 2020, municipalities will be billed at a rate of $2.55 per $1,000 of their total residential/farmland equalized assessment value.

The non-residential rate will be set at $3.75 per $1,000 of equalized assessment value.

Individual properties are taxed based on the local education property tax rate set by the municipality’s 2020 tax bylaw applied to the taxable assessment value determined by the municipality.

Education requisitions

Collection and distribution

Municipalities collect the education property tax from all property owners in Alberta. The money collected through this tax is pooled into the ASFF and then distributed to public education system school boards on an equal per-student rate.

Opted-out school boards

All separate school boards in the province have opted-out of the ASFF. This means they collect education property tax money directly from the municipalities.

Any difference between what an opted-out board collects and what it is entitled to receive is adjusted so there is no financial gain to opt out of the ASFF.

Separate school jurisdictions

The Constitution of Canada guarantees Protestant and Roman Catholic citizens' minority rights to a separate education system. In communities where there are separate school jurisdictions, property owners must declare support for one school jurisdiction or another to determine where education property tax dollars should be directed.

School support notices – Declarations of faith

Private schools

Under provincial law, government can only use money collected through the education property tax to fund the public education system, which includes public and separate schools. Private school funding comes from 3 sources:

  • provincial general revenues
  • tuition or instruction fees paid by parents
  • private fundraising

Municipal inquiries

Contact your municipality regarding:

  • the assessed value of your property
  • market value assessments
  • declaration of school board support
  • monthly tax instalment plans

Contact

Connect with the Government of Alberta Education Property Tax Line:

Phone: 780-422-7125
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email:  taxprogramdelivery@gov.ab.ca