Red Deer City council gave first reading to the Property Tax Rate Bylaw for 2014 at this week’s council 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 2.01% for residential property, 1.73% for multi-family property, and 2.43% for non-residential property.
For the 2014 tax year, the City of Red Deer will collect more than $39.7 million in property taxes on behalf of the Government of Alberta for education funding.
“The City is required under legislation to collect education taxes at the tax rates mandated by the Province to fund education and that impacts the total tax increases this year,” said Joanne Parkin, revenue and assessment services manager.
In January, council approved $112.9 million in municipal tax funding for programs and services. “Administration’s proposed municipal tax increase is 3.87 per cent for residential, multi-family, and non-residential property, but when you add the education requirement, it results in different tax increases for each property type,” said Parkin.
A residential home assessed at $300,000 for 2014 that has experienced the average change in assessed value would pay $5.58 per month more in municipal tax. The education portion would decrease by $1.20 and the Piper Creek Foundation portion would decrease by $0.26 per month. The total tax increase would be $4.12 per month under the proposed bylaw so while the municipal requirement is up the requirements for education and Piper Creek have gone down resulting in a lesser impact to property owners.
“Our municipal taxes are used for services ranging from maintaining our roads and parks to providing police and emergency services,” said Parkin. “It’s about collecting enough to provide services for Red Deer residents.”
Mayor Tara Veer said she thinks administration reached a fair balance with the tax impact this year.
“I think that what we found is a fair balance today and overall I think we are at a lower anticipated tax impact than we would have maybe been in January,” she said. “I really want to emphasize the importance in not only maintaining our competitive business position but increasing our competitive position as well.”
After receiving first reading, the Tax Rate Bylaw will come back for consideration of second and third readings at the May 6th special council meeting.