ST. PAUL - Assessments within the Town of St. Paul have seen an overall decrease, according to the municipality's assessor.
On April 15, Bob Daudelin of Accurate Assessment Group presented its findings to town council during the Committee of the Whole meeting. Residential assessment has decreased by about two per cent, while non-residential assessments have decreased by about six per cent.
An overall decrease in total assessment of three per cent has been noted. Total assessments were tallied at $881 million in 2019, and in 2020 that number dropped to about $856 million.
When looking at the past few years, a notable downward trend can be seen when it comes to assessment values.
This year, about 73 per cent of properties in St. Paul will see a one to 10 per cent decrease in assessment. When looking at the dollar value, 65 per cent of properties will see a $1,000 to $10,000 decrease in assessment, and about 14 per cent will see a $10,000 to $25,000 decrease, he explained.
Development permits appear to be fairly constant over the last three years, within the town.
The commercial side looks to have been hit a bit harder than residential, with vacant commercial land decreasing in value by two to three per cent, and overall improved commercial - meaning there is a building on the land - has decreased by five to seven per cent. Industrial assessments have seen similar decreases.
According to Daudelin, the situation in St. Paul seems to fit with what is being seen across the province.
"This was very typical across Alberta."
Daudelin compared St. Paul to other areas, such as Bonnyville were an overall 2.9 per cent decrease in assessments has been seen, and the County of St. Paul, where there has been a 2.5 per cent decrease in assessment.
And while new construction and growth does help offset some of the overall difference, a decrease due to market change is what's being felt.
Town of St. Paul Mayor Maureen Miller asked if the hotels in St. Paul had any effect on the decrease, to which Daudelin responded yes. He noted that two businesses within the town saw $1 million decreases in assessment - and both businesses were hotels. He noted the current pandemic was a large factor, and it is uncertain what the hotel industry will look like next year.
Accurate Assessment conducts physical inspections of residences within the town once every four years. Each year, a quadrant of the town is selected for re-inspection.
In 2020, it was the southeast quadrant. Daudelin said assessors did not get in people's space, and instead worked from a distance, using technology when needed for inspections.
In 2021, the southwest quadrant of town will be re-inspected. He says assessors will be very careful to abide by guidelines still in place due to the pandemic.
Looking ahead, Daudelin says there is "very little change" expected, and the decline in assessment looks to be levelling out.