Property taxes help pay for municipal infrastructure and services such as firefighters, police, transit, snow clearing, road maintenance, housing initiatives, the library, parks, community and settlement services, and other programs and services. The level of service is determined by residents, through your input on service review and budget, input throughout the year, consultation on master plans and the implementation of many initiatives.
Banff’s 2020 Property Taxes and Budget
The Town of Banff is supporting residents and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Council approved municipal property tax relief measures that support taxpayers facing financial difficulty.
What makes up your Banff Property Tax bill
Banff Town Council decreased the municipal portion of the town’s property tax levy by 17.1% compared to 2019.
The Government of Alberta’s Education Tax portion of the town’s property tax levy increased by 15.6%. The Town of Banff has no control over this tax.
The Town collects property taxes on behalf of the Government of Alberta for education, this year totaling $9.6 million from Banff. Despite the 17% decrease in the municipal tax levy, a 15% increase in property taxes for provincial education this year must be factored into your tax bill. According to the Banff Financial Plan, the Town applies a different tax rate for the commercial and residential sectors in order to create the same percentage change in taxes for both sectors.
The total property tax levy (municipal and education tax combined) for both the residential and the commercial sectors will represent a decrease of 7.6% when compared to last year.
To achieve the 7.6% decrease in the total property tax levy for the two sectors, the municipal portion of property taxes will decrease by 32.4% for residential property owners, and decrease 12.4% for commercial property owners. This makes up for the different rate of change set by the province for the education tax.
Change in assessed value affects level of tax decrease
Individual property owners will see either more or less than the average 7.6% decrease in property taxes, based on how their property changed in assessed value compared to the average. Residential properties increased in value by an average of 2.8%. Commercial properties increased in value by an average of 8.2%.
Residential properties whose assessed value increased more than the 2.8% average will have property taxes decrease less than 7.6%. Residential properties whose assessed value increased less than 2.8% will see a property tax decrease greater than 7.6%.
For the average dwelling unit in Banff (with an assessed value of $451,100), this will represent a drop in annual property taxes by about $157, or $13.08 per month for residents on the payment plan.
Tax notices will be mailed out starting June 15. If you are able to pay your property taxes by the new deadline – July 15 – please do so. Your contribution helps us continue to provide municipal services.
Flexible Tax Payment Options
If you pay your property taxes in a lump sum once a year, you are encouraged to pay by the deadline, which is July 15. However, if you are experiencing financial difficulty, you have the option to delay your payment until August 31, 2020, and no late penalties will be applied.
If you pay your taxes through your mortgage, your mortgage lender will submit payment to the Town on your behalf. If you are facing financial difficulty, contact your lender to adjust payment arrangements.
If you pay monthly through the Town of Banff’s Monthly Payment Plan, you have the option to delay or reduce your monthly payments until August 31, 2020, if you are facing financial difficulty. To request a delay in your monthly payment plan, please send an email to email@example.com. The total of delayed tax amounts will be automatically withdrawn in September, along with the regular September payment.
2020 Budget for Town Services
Property taxes help pay for Banff programs and services, including:
- RCMP and Municipal Enforcement
- Roam public transit
- Snow clearing
- Road maintenance
- Housing initiatives
- Banff Public Library
- Parks and beautification
- Recreation programming
- Community and Social support programs
- Development permitting and compliance
- Traffic and streets management
- Heritage and environment planning
- Garbage and recycling
- Fleet and facility maintenance
Although initially approved in January, the 2020 budget was amended by Banff Town Council after the COVID-19 pandemic forced widespread financial challenges in the community. In May, Council decreased the 2020 budgeted spending by $3.1 million, over the January budget. Forecasts show that the Town’s revenues are expected to drop by at least $8 million this year, due to the impact of the pandemic on facility rentals, permit and program fees, fines and utilities.
To help lessen the impact on residents and businesses facing financial hardship, Banff Town Council reduced the budget to drop the municipal tax levy by 17%.
The Town of Banff reduced service levels and dropped programs to remove almost $1.4 million from the budget.
The impact for 2020 will be a Town-wide reduction in services and programs, including:
- Reduced municipal park maintenance and pageantry
- Reduced in roadway maintenance and downtown beautification
- Reduced in out-of-school care programming
- Reduced service level for development applications
- Reduced hours for waste collection
- Reduced services in recreation programming
- Reduced fleet maintenance in response to reduced demand
- Reduced service level in administrative functions
- Eliminated Canada Day programming or large events permitting
- Eliminated parking studies, consultation or planning
- Eliminated campaigns for active transportation
- Reduced Bear Street marketing
- Reduced traffic management campaign
- Reduced wildlife coexistence campaign
- Eliminated regional transportation service from Calgary
- Reduced geothermal potential study
- Reduced environmental programming
- Deferred municipal census
- Deferred community plan renewal
- Eliminated heritage grant
The Town’s budget for staffing was cut by $1.3 million, over 2019.
More than 70 employees are affected by these reductions in wages and benefits which represents 36% of staff levels. The impact involved temporary layoffs, reduced hours or work week, the elimination of all performance-based increases and a hiring freeze. More than 40 seasonal or new positions will not be hired. All travel, training and conferences are cancelled, unless required for employment certification.
This means people will not see all the programs and the level of services they have become accustomed to in previous years.
The Town of Banff deferred or scaled back infrastructure projects, amounting to almost $14 million in capital budget spending, to reduce cash-flow requirements in 2020, despite low borrowing interest rates. Projects that were in progress or with committed funds, or involved grant funding were continued. Other projects were maintained in order to capitalize on the lower activity in Banff, which results in less disruption to residents, businesses and visitors.
Every year, the Town of Banff allocates a portion of tax revenue to a reserve fund to pay for future infrastructure projects, such as facilities, parks, roads, and sidewalks. This allows Banff to carry less debt than most municipalities. In 2020, the Town reduced the amount of taxes collected for the future infrastructure fund, by $1.9 million.
At the end of 2019, the Town of Banff had spent less than budgeted in some departments, and there were higher than expected revenue in other areas. $945,746 of this 2019 surplus will be used to help reduce the 2020 budget, while $345,746 will be used for the 2021 budget.
Late-payment penalty on the 2020 property taxes will be applied at the rate of 1.5% per month, starting September 1, 2020. Arrears from previous years will incur a penalty of 1.5% per month, starting July 1.
Ways to Pay
- By mail – Do not send cash. Send a cheque or money order payable to the Town of Banff. Enclose the bottom portion of your tax notice. Mail to Town of Banff, Attn: Taxes and Utilities, Box 1260, Banff AB T1L 1A1.
- By telephone/on-line banking – Payment can be made through most chartered banks. Register for these services with your bank.
- By mortgage company – If you pay property taxes through your mortgage company, this will be noted under the Mortgage/Reference section on the notice. No payment is required at this time. If you pay your taxes through your mortgage and this note does not appear, please contact your mortgage company immediately.
- By the tax installment payment plan (TIPP) – Pay your taxes in convenient monthly installments through an automatic debit to your bank account with the Town of Banff TIPP program. For details and to register, visit banff.ca/tipp.
- In-person payments at Town Hall are not available at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Payment Due by June 30
Mail delivery of tax notices will start in late May. Property taxes are due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30. Late payment penalty charges apply after June 30, unless you are on the monthly plan. If you have not received your tax notice, or if you have questions, please call 403.762.1230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Town of Banff accepts payment of taxes through a variety of means. We also offer a payment plan to pay taxes monthly through automatic withdraws.
Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP)
Sign up for the Tax Installment Payment Plan and pay monthly. The Town will make automatic withdrawals from your bank account of a pre-determined amount. Learn more about this program and how to sign up.
The Town of Banff is exploring all opportunities to support residents and businesses during the COVID-19 crisis and the financial hardship it is causing some people in our community.
Property owners who are on the monthly payment plan are offered the option to suspend their monthly contributions until the annual deadline on June 30, 2020.
In addition, people participating in the property tax installment payment plan can also request to be refunded the first three months of payments in 2020 (January, February and March).
To arrange the suspension of the monthly payments, email email@example.com.
Mortgage Company Payments
Pay your taxes through your mortgage bank or company. If you have chosen this method, it will be noted under the Reference Section on your tax invoice and no payment is required to the Town when you receive your property tax invoice.
If you have arranged to pay your taxes through your mortgage and this does not appear on your tax invoice, please contact your mortgage provider immediately.
Pay your property taxes through most chartered banks using telephone, online and ATM banking services. Register with your bank.
Single Annual Payment
Mail a cheque or money order payable to the Town of Banff to:
Town of Banff
Attn: Taxes and Utilities
Banff AB T1L 1A1
Record your roll number or your property address on the cheque and enclose the bottom portion of your tax invoice. Post-dated cheques must be dated no later than the due date. Postmarks are not considered.