By Cole Parkinson
The Town of Vauxhall council has made some changes to their tax process as they have introduced a special tax that will take over from the way they currently do things.
During the town’s regular meeting on May 1, council discussed what the changes would bring for the town’s residents.
“The deal is we used to access a frontage tax, which we were informed it really is at odds with the MGA (Municipal Government Act) and should not be done. We wanted to recoup some of those taxes that were being covered by the frontage tax in some way that was completely legitimate. It was recommended that a special tax would be the one and we decided to do that based on repair of roads,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Phillips. “You can clearly have a tax if some project is underway to recoup a portion of that cost under special tax. You can so have a special tax levy for on-going repair and maintenance but it can only be for a single item.”
The new Bylaw No. 926-18 or the “Maintenance Tax” states that properties will be charged $5.50 per frontage foot to all properties and there is a maximum frontage of 300 feet.
While most people may still see this as a frontage tax, the special tax will be funds for only one set of repairs and not just for everything.
“The average person is still going to perceive this as a frontage tax but instead of it just being a general frontage tax for multiple purposes, it is for a single purpose,” added Phillips.
In the MGA, it states that “Each council may pass a special tax bylaw to raise revenue to pay for a specific service or purpose by imposing one or more of the following special taxes:
(a) a waterworks tax; (b) a sewer tax; (c) a boulevard tax; (d) a dust treatment tax; (e) a paving tax; (f) a tax to cover the cost of repair and maintenance of roads, boulevards, sewer facilities and water facilities.”
Since roads are the single biggest item for the Town of Vauxhall, the decision to add the special tax for road repair was an easy one. The MGA also states “a special bylaw must be passed annually.”
First, second and third and final reading were all passed unanimously by council. Mayor Margaret Plumtree and Coun. Jake Wiebe were both absent from the meeting.