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 the education property tax.
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.
The assessed value of your property and the local education property tax rate is used to calculate your share of the education property tax payment.
A decrease in the local education property tax rate can help lessen the impact of assessment value increases on your individual tax bill.
Municipal Affairs establishes the provincial mill rate used to determine each municipality's share of the provincial education tax.
In Budget 2018-19, the province is collecting about $2.4 billion in education property taxes from municipalities. This is the same total amount as was collected last year.
Even though the total amount the province is collecting is the same as last year, many properties across Alberta have experienced a decrease in assessment value. Therefore, a small rate increase was necessary to collect the same amount as last year.
In 2018, municipalities will be billed at a rate of $2.56 per $1,000 of their total residential equalized assessment value. Municipalities will also be billed at a rate of $3.76 per $1,000 of total non-residential equalized assessment.
This is the first increase in the education property tax mill rates in the past 25 years. Since taking responsibility for education property taxes, the province has cut residential education property tax rates by approximately 66%.
How it is collected and distributed
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 and separate 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, which means they collect education property tax money directly from the municipalities.
Any difference between what an opted-out board collects and what they are entitled to receive is adjusted so there is no financial gain to a school jurisdiction that opts 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 their religious affiliation, either Protestant or Roman Catholic, to determine what education property tax dollars should be directed to those separate school jurisdictions.
School support notices – Declarations of faith
- Form 6A – Roman Catholic Individual (PDF, 51 KB)
- Form 6B – Protestant Individual (PDF, 52 KB)
- Form 6C – Roman Catholic Corporations and Cooperatives (PDF, 28 KB)
- Form 6D – Protestant Corporations and Cooperatives (PDF, 28 KB)
Provincial law can only use money collected through the education property tax used 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
Contact your municipality regarding:
- the assessed value of your property
- market value assessments
- declaration of school board support
- monthly tax instalment plans
To connect with the Government of Alberta Education Property Tax Line: