Education Property Tax
Education Property Tax is assessed and collected on a calendar year basis, with the first quarter payment due March 31.
The uniform provincial mill rate used to determine each municipality's share of the provincial education requisition is established by Finance and Enterprise, Municipal Affairs and Education. The mill rate is calculated by dividing the total provincial education revenue requirement by the provincial varied equalized assessment base.
For the 2013 calendar year, the provincial uniform education property tax rates have been reduced by an average of approximately1.8 per cent, from 2.70 to 2.65 mills for residential and farmland property, and from 3.97 to 3.90 mills for non-residential property. The tax rate remains at zero mills for properties assessed as machinery and equipment. This marks the 20th straight year that the education property tax mill rate has been lowered or frozen. In fact, since assuming responsibility for education property taxes, the province has cut residential education property tax rates by 65 per cent.
Property is assessed and taxed in two different categories; residential and farmland, and non-residential. The uniform provincial mill rate is applied to these assessments, and invoices to municipalities are produced. The municipalities then collect the requisitioned amount from the individual taxpayers and remit to the Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF).
All the money collected through the education property tax goes to fund Albertans' priorities in education. The education property tax is pooled into the ASFF and then distributed among Alberta's public and separate school boards on an equal per-student basis.
A per student rate is calculated using the eligible student count. The rate is set to utilize the education property tax money for the given tax year. Simplified, the total funds available from education property taxes are divided by the total number of eligible students for the year. This per student amount is then distributed to the school jurisdictions based on the number of funded students.
Together with education property tax revenue, funding from the general revenue fund is used to ensure that the resources available to a student depend on the needs of the student and not the wealth (assessment base) of the municipality in which the student lives. This means all students have access to a quality education, no matter where they live.
Opted out School Boards
All separate school boards in the province have "opted out" of the ASFF, which means they requisition and collect property tax money from the municipalities directly.
The total property tax amount used to determine the per-student rate includes all opted out revenues as well as the ASFF revenues. Any difference between what an opted out board requisitions and what their entitlement is based on the per-student rate is adjusted for through payments from the ASFF.
There is no financial gain to a school jurisdiction that opts out of the ASFF.