At the regular meeting of Council on Monday, May 15, City Council passed the tax rate bylaw for 2017 with a tax requirement increase of 2.3%.
“Council has spent a lot of time debating and discussing this rate’s impact and we are very proud to have a multi-year budget in place. Staff did a great job sharing and seeking public input. We appreciate all of the feedback we received from residents who attended the open meetings,” said Mayor Patricia Matthews.
The tax requirement was originally determined in the multi-year budgeting process that took place last fall. Council set the 2017-18 budget on December 5, 2016 after Councillors and Administration spent several weeks deliberating and reviewing the budget in a public forum to ensure all items were aligned with the City’s Strategic Plan.
The budget was reviewed this spring after the City’s assessors completed the annual process of ensuring all assessments are up to date. Since no significant changes were required to the original budget, Council officially set the municipal tax requirement increase at 2.3% as proposed.
In previous years, the actual increase for each home would vary based on how much the assessed value of the home changed. While a property’s assessed value is still used to determine each resident’s share of the tax requirement, the 2.3% increase is to the final amount each property will owe (known as the tax requirement). This means that an average homeowner with a home valued at $500,000 can expect to pay $60 more in municipal taxes this year.
Property taxes, along with grants and fees (such as the boat launch fee), help pay for municipal services such as policing, emergency response, roads, parks, recreation, and community events. The 2017-18 budget also includes several significant projects including Township Road 240’s initial upgrade, Lakeside Greens and West Chester Boulevard improvements, pathway improvements, landscaping for the Centre for Community Leadership, lakefront parks upgrades (e.g., Anniversary Park and Cove Park), and a new soccer field at Our Lady of Wisdom School.
Tax notices will be issued to all homeowners in mid-June. These notices will also include the provincial education tax requirement. Provincial education taxes are outside of the City’s jurisdiction; they are controlled and set by the Alberta government and paid directly to the Province upon collection.
The deadline to pay the full amount in a lump sum is July 31. Residents who are enrolled in the Tax Installment Payment Program (TIPP) will see their monthly rate adjusted for the July 15 withdrawal.