By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
A trio of bylaws were passed by Coaldale town council during their April 24 meeting.
The first bylaw – Special Tax Recreation Bylaw 868-C-04-23 – allows the Town of Coaldale to pass a special tax bylaw for the purpose of raising funds to pay for the design and construction of the new multi-use recreation facility in town. Of the facility’s $18,880,000 cost, $10 million is being funded through debenture debt, with the payments to be covered from revenue gathered by a $10/month special tax levy. The levy applies to each developed residential parcel of land within the town’s boundaries, at a rate of $120 per developed residential parcel of land. A similar bylaw was passed in 2022.
“The special tax bylaw is an annual bylaw put in place, so when council does approve it, it is only valid for (an approval) for one year, so you can’t approve it for say, 20 years,” said Kyle Beauchamp, director of corporate services for the town.
Last year, a similar bylaw raised $387,000. The town’s annual debt repayment on the loan is $545,000. The difference in funds comes from the town’s agreements with their local recreation partners, and not additional tax support.
The next bylaw – Supplementary Assessment Tax Bylaw 870-C-04-23 – allows the town to tax certain improvements made during the 2023 tax year.
Beauchamp said that as opposed to a regular tax, which shows the market value of your property as of July 1, a supplementary assessment applies to the assessed value of any improvements that have been completed or occupied during the current calendar year and not included in the annual tax notice.
“The idea behind it is that when, say, a new house is being built here in the year, you’ve got to pay your fair share of property taxes just like everybody else. So this captures that portion of it.”
The town budgets $30,000 in supplementary tax revenue each year as part of its operating budget, although Beauchamp says that number “fluctuates” year to year.
The final bylaw was an amendment – Council Procedural Bylaw Amendment 869-GE-04-23 – which allows for minor amendments to the Council Procedure bylaw, including:
• Amending section 9.2 by changing the order of the Council Meeting Agenda to move ‘Business Arising from the Minutes’ to take place after ‘Delegations and Public Hearings’.
• Amending section 30.1 by updating the reference to the MGA regarding Closed Session to be: 197(4)(b) to correctly align with the reference to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP).
• Amending section 32.22 by removing the following reference: ‘Clerical, typographical and grammatical errors in bylaws may be corrected by the C.A.O. or his designate’.
• Changing the title of ‘Legislative Coordinator’ to ‘Municipal Clerk’ throughout the document.
The bylaw is amended on occasion due to the town desiring to make minor amendments, or to bring it into compliance with Municipal Affairs.
Coun. Bill Chapman requested that they further amend the bylaw by splitting section 7.6 – pertaining to council members attending the meeting electronically into two separate sections – as he said it would “add more clarity to it”. Chapman also requested a spelling correction in section 22.1a.
Council unanimously passed motions to perform all three readings for Special Tax Recreation Bylaw 868-C-04-23 and Supplementary Assessment Tax Bylaw 870-C-04-23, and performed all three readings as amended for Council Procedural Bylaw Amendment 869-GE-04-23.