By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
As part of the draft budget presentations, Chief Financial Officer for the Town of Coaldale, Kyle Beauchamp, outlined additional revenue anticipated by new assessments in the coming years. Beauchamp said administration has projected $210,000 in additional revenue, generated by new growth and development for 2023.
During the Nov. 15 special council meeting, Beauchamp said, “looking at the budget, Coaldale does have a good amount of new growth and development each year.” Initial projections anticipate new assessment revenue for the years 2024 and 2025 to total $190,000, and $200,000, respectively. However, these figures are estimates and may fluctuate depending on actual future growth and development in Coaldale.
Beauchamp said that 76 per cent of total property taxes collected through the Town goes towards the Town’s budget items, while a portion of taxes collected goes toward funding provincial items such as education. There is also a requisition collected on behalf of Green Acres Foundation, to support accessible senior’s housing. In terms of the education requisition, Beauchamp said, “what we are hearing is the Province is coming back with a revenue-neutral budget next year on the education side.”
Currently, Coaldale’s residential property taxes contribute 85 per cent of the total revenue stream, while non-residential property taxes make up the remaining 15 per cent. Beauchamp said the long-term goal is to get this ratio closer to 80/20, and that there is, “lots of effort going into marketing and attracting new investment opportunities,” to create a healthier balance between the two revenue streams.
Beauchamp said the plan for the coming years is to adjust the rate of taxation for non-residential properties. The Municipal Government Act (MGA) allows for non-residential rates to be five times greater than residential, but Beauchamp said a “1.5:1 (ratio) is a more feasible target” to strive toward.
Coaldale’s residential tax rate sits at 10.8293 with Taber and Lethbridge slightly higher at 10.9211 and 10.9084 respectively. While Coaldale is only nominally lower than Lethbridge in terms of residential taxes, Beauchamp explained the non-residential rates in Coaldale, are “50 per cent lower” than Lethbridge’s.
“One of the reasons we have such a focus and push to develop business through the industrial park and attract new development to Coaldale is if you look at the non-residential property, Coaldale is more on the smaller end,” he said adding, “we have 172 non-residential properties compared to Taber, which has double that.”
President of Coaldale’s Chamber of Commerce, René van de Vendel, said previous municipal leaders foresaw this potential for growth and development and took the right steps to lay the groundwork for future development early on.
“The tremendous growth we have seen in the industrial area of town was the result of great foresight of decision-makers years ago. Our recent council and CEO have done a great job of attracting a lot of businesses to Coaldale, and current council is continuing with that vision which is great to see! The more business expands, the more the town will continue its growth.”