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January 28, 2023 January 28, 2023

M.D. of Taber approves operating and capital budgets

Posted on December 28, 2022 by Taber Times

By Cole Parkinson
Taber Times
cparkinson@tabertimes.com

It’s that time of year again when Municipal District of Taber council views their upcoming budgets. During their regular meeting on Dec. 13, the operating and capital budgets were in front of council for approval. 

The operating budget and three-year financial operating plan is reviewed by council every year during the budget approval process and can be modified if required. The capital budget and capital plan is reviewed by council every year during the budget approval process and can be modified if required. The proposed 2023 interim operating budget projects a $442,700 operating budget deficit (2022 – $603,030 deficit), which includes a non-cash expense of $4,392,821 for amortization.

The proposed interim budget also includes a projected net increase of $1,079,593 (2022 – a net increase of $1,158,628) in municipal property tax revenues, including projected uncollectable property taxes of $500,000 (2022 – $1 million). The M.D. had reserved $745,357 as uncollectable property tax attributable to oil and gas properties in 2021 ($1,022,897 – 2020). The amount of uncollectable property tax attributable to oil and gas properties is projected to be ~$300,000 in 2022.

“There was a change in legislation that placed municipal taxes ahead of other creditors. However, that priority is still being reclamation costs and there is a case in front of a judge right now with regards to the priority of paying these property taxes while they’re in receivership. I’m not sure when that decision will come out, however, if there is still not enough money to pay reclamation costs, that would still mean regardless of the decision there wouldn’t be money to pay property taxes,” explained Bryan Badura, director of Corporate Services. “We continue to see decreased assessments from oil and gas properties as more reclamation takes place — as well, some of the properties fall into Orphan Well Fund. As those assessments drop, we’re seeing lower uncollectible taxes and we are seeing some increases from solar projects to offset some of that loss in assessment.” 

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