Overview

How it is collected and distributed

The education property tax is collected every year from all property owners in Alberta. The money collected through this tax is pooled into the Alberta School Foundation Fund and then distributed to public and separate school boards on an equal per-student basis.

What it supports

This tax helps to support all public and separate school students. Funding to the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education system comes from two revenue sources — general provincial revenues and education property taxes. Using two revenue streams provides stability for education funding.

Additional information

What does the tax pay for?

The education property tax supports all public and separate school students. The education property tax helps pay for basic instruction costs including teacher salaries, textbooks, and other classroom resources.

Where does the education property tax go?

The education property tax is pooled into the Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) and then sent to Alberta's public and separate school boards on an equal per-student rate.

Why is education partly funded by property tax?

The education property tax provides Alberta's education system with a stable and sustainable source of revenue. Pooling the education property tax in the Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) ensures that students receive a great education no matter where they live.

How does the province collect the education property tax?

Every year the province calculates, based on assessment value, the amount each municipality must contribute towards the public education system. Municipalities collect the education property tax and then send it to the province for the Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF).

Does everyone pay the education property tax?

All property owners pay the education property tax, although there are 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 all Albertans, people without children in school also pay the education property tax.

How is my education property tax calculated?

Your property's assessed value and the local education property tax rate is used to calculate your share of the education property tax payment.

Can I direct my education property tax to a private school?

No. By provincial law, money collected through the education property tax can only fund the public education system, which includes public and separate schools. Private school funding comes from three sources: provincial general revenues, tuition or instruction fees paid by parents, and private fundraising.

Why are property owners asked to declare their faith?

The Constitution of Canada guarantees Protestant and Roman Catholic minority rights to a separate education system. In communities with separate school jurisdictions, property owners declare their religious affiliation, either Protestant or Roman Catholic, so their education property tax dollars can be directed to those separate school jurisdictions.

What are "opted-out" school boards?

All separate school boards in the province have "opted out" of the Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF). This means they collect education property tax money directly from the municipalities.

The total property tax amount used to determine the per-student rate includes both revenues. 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.

What is the mill rate?

The uniform provincial mill rate is used to determine each municipality's share of the provincial education tax is established by Municipal Affairs.

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%.

The education property tax supports all public and separate school students. It helps pay for instructional costs including teacher salaries, textbooks and other classroom resources.

Property assessment/taxation information

School support notices

Declarations of faith

Information for seniors

Do seniors have to pay the education property tax?

Yes. Everyone who owns property pays the education property tax, including seniors. Every Albertan benefits from a quality education system. The education property tax supports a system that is producing the workforce of tomorrow.

Can seniors receive assistance on their property tax payments?

The Government of Alberta has programs to help seniors, such as the Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program and the Alberta Seniors Benefit.

Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program

Eligible senior homeowners can defer all or part of their property taxes with a low-interest home equity loan. The Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program is run by the Alberta Government. The government then pays the property taxes for the eligible homeowner. The loan does not have to be repaid until the property is sold, or sooner if they choose.

Alberta Seniors Benefit

This program provides monthly cash benefits for eligible low-income seniors. This support is in addition to federal benefits, including Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement.

More information

Learn more about these programs and find out if you are eligible by visiting Alberta Seniors and Housing or by calling the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992.

Resources