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Market value is the most probable price a property might be expected to realize if it sold on the open market (by a willing seller to a willing buyer). Assessors do not create your property value. The marketplace determines the value of your property, and that value is the basis for property assessment.
In determining property assessments, assessors use sales records of similar properties to determine values. An excellent way for property owners to look at property values in Wetaskiwin is to review the real estate section of the newspaper and speak with local real estate agents.
It is agreed throughout North America that the market value assessment is the most fair and equitable way to assess a property's value. It ensures that homes with similar market values within the same neighbourhood and within the same city will pay similar property taxes.
Alberta was one of the last jurisdictions in North America to switch to market value assessment. The old assessment methods worked on an eight-year cycle and sometimes led to dramatic swings in property values. Market value assessment uses annual reassessments to minimize fluctuations.
Provincial legislation requires all municipalities to annually prepare a new assessment or evaluation for all properties located in each municipality at market value. Assessments are completed by July 1, prior to taxation.
Mass appraisal is the process of preparing assessments for a group of properties using standard methods, common data and allowing for statistical testing.