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Town council accepts proposed municipal rates as information

Posted on May 27, 2020 by Taber Times

By Trevor Busch
Taber Times

While the municipal school requisition is showing a significant decrease, Taberites could still be facing a residential tax hike of just under two per cent in 2020.

The 2020 proposed municipal property tax rates have been calculated using the assessment roll provided by the town’s assessor and the province to raise the required revenues for municipal needs. This roll provides a breakdown by assessment class for all properties within the town. The assessor also provides a breakdown of all assessment increases or decreases due to development growth, as well as increases and decreases due to market change (inflation/deflation).

“If you recall from the numbers that I presented, we have residential assessment going up about 3.4 per cent, and non-residential was down about 2.8 per cent,” said finance director John Orwa at town council’s May 11 meeting.

The proposed municipal tax rates show an increase of 1.93 per cent for residential properties and an increase of 2.2 per cent for non-residential properties and machinery and equipment.

The senior tax rate is calculated based on the proportion that the town’s equalized assessment bears to the total of the equalized assessments of the four participating municipalities, and the requisition required by Taber and District Housing. The calculated rates show a 4.69 per cent increase.

“So now, the question is, what is new? Or what has changed since then?” said Orwa. “Since the last presentation, of course we’ve gotten new numbers for the seniors, we need to have that one. And of course the seniors (rate), as you know, is controlled by the government. We don’t have any control there because everything is based on the equalized assessment.”

The proposed school tax rates are calculated based on the overall education requisition required by the province. This requisition is broken down into residential and farmland, non-residential, and machinery and equipment for both the public and separate school systems (machinery and equipment as well as co-generation equipment are exempt from school taxes).

The calculated school rates will show a 10.84 per cent decrease for residential and a 6.79 per cent decrease for non-residential. According to administration, these decreases are largely due to an over levy in school taxes in 2019. The 2019 school rates were based on 2018 rates with a projected five per cent increase, but the actual 2019 school requisition was not finalized by the province until December 2019.

“Why is it going down that much? The reason is the government was very slow in giving out its requisition, and I think it’s dating back to 2018,” continued Orwa. “So when doing the 2019 requisition, we based our rates on 2018, and based on what the assessors were telling us we increased it by five per cent thinking that will go the other way around. But this time it was an over levy. So now, because we collected more from last year, we have now to reduce our rates by about 10.84 per cent. So in other words, what we will be collecting from the citizens will be less revenue.”

Total mill rates for 2020 include residential and farmland (10.3160), non-residential (16.1079), machinery and equipment (12.4540), GIL non-residential – municipal tax only (12.3491), non-residential DIP (16.1839), and machinery and equipment DIP (12.5300).

To calculate property tax, multiply the assessed value of the property by the mill rate and then divide by 1,000. For example, a property with an assessed value of $50,000 located in a municipality with a mill rate of 20 mills would have a property tax of $1,000 per year.

Following discussion, council voted unanimously to accept the proposed municipal tax rates for information.

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