By Stan Ashbee
Southern Alberta Newspapers
For the past 10 years, Nobleford has claimed some of the lowest property tax rates in Alberta and Canada and the trend will continue in 2021, according to a recent media release.
In 2002, the Nobleford residential tax rate was similar to other rural municipalities at 9.8 mills, since then Nobleford has reduced its tax rate by 90 per cent, it was noted.
Nobleford even had a year when the community cancelled residential taxes for its 100-year anniversary when the village became a town in 2018.
Mayor Don Holinaty stated sustaining high asset values and low taxes is a priority objective for Nobleford and the biggest challenge is the “outside pressures on Nobleford that continue to increase and produce negative results that threaten Nobleford and rural Alberta sustainability.”
Nobleford council, it was pointed out in the media release, has approved a 2021 Budget of $3.2 million dollars. The Nobleford general municipal tax levy mill rate for residential will be 1.0 and non-residential 3.5 – minimum levy of $298 or 20 cents per square-metre of land.
“This means a residential house with an assessed valued of $300,000 will pay a total of $1,111 per year with $250 tax retained for Nobleford municipal use and $48 for police funding,” it was stated in the release. The town also collects taxes for the province in the amount of $769 for education and another $44 for senior housing.
Retiring CAO Kirk Hofman stated this is his last budget prepared for Nobleford – but he noted council adopted a seven-year budget that maintains the low tax rates for the future. “Nobleford also has record high reserve savings of $4.4 million dollars and under $200,000 debt well maintaining an asset value of over $100,000 per Nobleford resident.”
Hofman credits Nobleford’s “prosperous” situation to consistent of council, administration and staff since 2004 – “focusing on building a modern strong infrastructure and avoiding special interests unless they benefit Nobleford, as a whole.”
In 2021, Nobleford’s five councillors were paid a total of $16,000 (or $0 to $4,900 each) with one councillor choosing to waive all his benefits, honourariums, as well as expenditures.
Nobleford has seen population double since 2007 with 240 new homes and 20 new businesses. The community, it was added, is in the process of purchasing land for a new residential subdivision to be self-developed by the town.