Red Deer City council gave first reading to the 2017 Property Tax Bylaw at today’s meeting.
If approved, the combined tax increase needed to fund the municipal tax requirement and the requisitioned amounts from Alberta Education and Piper Creek Foundation would result in a total tax increase of 1.1% for residential, multi-family and non-residential properties.
“The City is required under legislation to collect education taxes at the tax rates prescribed by the Province. Education tax makes up 29 per cent of the average home property tax bill this year,” said Joanne Parkin, revenue and assessment services manager.
For the 2017 tax year, the City of Red Deer will collect more than $44.8 million in property taxes on behalf of the Government of Alberta to fund education.
For Councillor Ken Johnston, this is his fourth go around now since being elected onto council, with ratios and the treatment of commercial, multi-family and residential properties and his question was more around one of economic development.
“What always impresses me is our competitiveness across the province particularly when it comes to the commercial side of the tax equation,” he said, asking how they are promoting that particular piece on their economic development side.
Parkin said although she can’t speak to that in terms of the things they are doing, she did say that conversations have been had about it. She said this was a piece of information that was embedded in the City’s economic development plan.
In accordance with the approved 2017 Operating Budget, the proposed 2017 Property Tax Bylaw would collect $128.3 million in municipal taxes to fund programs and services.
The proposed tax increase would mean a typical house assessed at $325,000 would pay $2.13 per month more in municipal tax and $0.63 more in education tax. The Piper Creek Foundation portion would decrease by $0.07 per month. The total tax increase would be $2.69 per month or $32 per year under the proposed bylaw. This brings the total annual tax bill to $2,914 from $2,882 in 2016.
“Our municipal taxes are essential to providing the services the City delivers, everything from maintaining our roads and parks, to police and emergency services,” said Parkin. “It’s about providing necessary services for our growing City.”
Mayor Tara Veer said she’s appreciative they did one reading of the bylaw as it allows that waiting period for public feedback.
The Tax Rate Bylaw will come back for consideration of second and third readings at the council meeting on May 1st. Taxes are due June 30th.