By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
The Town of Picture Butte’s Director of Corporate Services Patrick Lyster presented the 2016 Tax Rate Bylaw to town council for consideration.
Council voted in favour of passing first, second and third reading of the bylaw at a meeting held May 9.
“Our total assessments this year are $165 million, which is up about 8.2 per cent from last year, which is a pretty good jump. It’s good to see growth in the area,” noted Lyster.
From the town’s budget, overall tax collection for general municipal purposes has gone up, as well, Lyster added.
“If you recall we added $50,000 to reserves for a fire truck in addition to a bunch of other things but that’s kind of the bulk of the difference giving us our seven per cent increase almost,” he said.
As for seniors and school requisitions, Lyster said, there’s not a lot of changes.
“Our school requisition went down about $2,000. Our seniors went up about $2.50.”
At the end of the day — the mill rate most people are going to see is the 9.6474, which is a millrate decrease from last year, Lyster said. “Of about 2.8 per cent.”
“If your property stayed at the same value as it was last year, your taxes are going to go down this year,” said Lyster, adding it’s even more of a decrease for non-residentials.
All things considered, Lyster said, it’s pretty steady and no big shock to residents.
But, there is a fair share of variance for non-residentials in assessments from 2016 versus 2015.
According to a report submitted to council for consideration, the estimated municipal expenditures and transfers set out in the budget for the town for 2016 is $4,663,619.67 and the estimated revenues and transfers from all other sources other than taxation is estimated at $3,429,504 and the balance of $1,234,115.67 is to be raised by general municipal taxation.
Total school requisitions $402,949.89. Total seniors requisition (Green Acres Foundation) $19,827.21. Total requisitions for 2016 $422,777.10. The town’s total assessment for 2016 is $165,452,930.
General Municipal tax rate is: Residential 7.19902. Non-Residential and M&E 8.65000. Alberta School Foundation: Residential/Farmland 2.32855. Non-Residential 3.14686. Opted Out School Boards: Residential/Farmland 2.32855. Non-Residential 3.14686. Seniors Requisition: Green Acres Foundation 0.11984.
Next year, the town’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Larry Davidson said, he is planning on doing a complete rate review for utilities and such. “I’ve always said before utilities and other business units need to be based on a cost recovery basis and you are going to see those rates jump,” Davidson explained.
The town’s assessments, Davidson added, are just a snapshot in time based on July 1, 2015. “Which is an important distinction because the economy has changed considerably. Especially in the north, not so much in the southern Alberta.”