By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
The Town of Coaldale is continuing a tax credit for volunteer firefighters and supporting businesses.
During their regular May 24 meeting, Coaldale town council approved a tax credit for firefighters.
Back in 2020, the then- Coaldale town council had approved the creation of a volunteer firefighter tax credit. The credit is for volunteer firefighters who own and occupy a principal residence in Coaldale, and/or businesses that own property in town and employ volunteer firefighters who they provide paid release time to.
At council’s regular May 24 meeting, Kyle Beauchamp, chief financial officer and deputy CAO for the Town, said the tax credit is based on the volunteer hours the residents and businesses have accumulated for 2022 and is credited on their 2023 tax notice.
“Based on the number of hours our volunteer (firefighters) put in the year before, and the number of hours those businesses that have volunteers allow them participate as a volunteer during work hours, they are eligible for a tax credit,” said Beauchamp.
The amount payable is based on the number of volunteer hours, with the maximum credit for an individual being $1,000, and for businesses it is $2,000.
As the tax credit is treated as a cancellation of property taxes for the corresponding amount, as per Section 347(1) of the Municipal Government Act, council needs to pass a motion for administration to proceed with processing the tax credit.
The total volunteer tax credit for 2023 amounts to $22,800 – consisting of $18,400 personal and $4,400 for business. This is a decrease from $31,400 in 2022, due to a reduction in the number of volunteers – 24 in 2023 compared to 28 in 2022 – and businesses – four in 2023 compared to six in 2022 – who received the tax credit.
The budget for the tax credit in 2023 has increased to $32,500 – compared to $25,000 in 2022 – based on a higher usage in the past year.
“It’s important that we thank our volunteer firefighter and businesses that support them responding to calls,” said Mayor Jack Van Rijn. “I think this is an excellent opportunity to do that by showing our appreciation by cancelling, or I should say that we write off the current property taxes for the roll number listed.”
Roll numbers are the account numbers for each individual property in Coaldale.
Council unanimously passed a motion to current property taxes for the year 2023 for the following tax roll numbers, for the amounts associated as noted. Coun. Jordan Sailor was not in attendance during this portion of the meeting.