By Cole Parkinson
As 2018 continues to roll on, the Town of Vauxhall council had a chance to take a look at some possibilities in regard to the town’s 2018 property taxes.
For this year’s process, town staff devised a set of different outlines that could be chosen which would determine mill rates.
“I’ve provided 10 scenarios on how our mill rate was going to be distributed this year,” said Wendy Bergen, CFO for the Town of Vauxhall.
Council asked her to cut down the 10 scenarios to the top three, which all presented a variety of pros and cons moving forward. For the top three options, each was determined by applying different rates with varying degrees of mill rates for each set of properties.
“Scenario one was just a general split trying to keep things equal. Scenario two, I did an equal split based on the assessment value increase from 2017. Scenario three, I just split all the way down the middle, everybody gets the same rate. As you can see there is fluctuation with those numbers,” continued Bergen.
Reasons for changes to the mill rates come from the fact that there have been some revisions to their assessments.
With decreases to most of their properties, town staff tried to keep things as fair as they could for this year’s taxes.
“Our residential assessment dropped by $2.1 million, our farm land decreased by $11,000, our non-residential increased by $2.1 million and our machinery and equipment decreased by $100,000. That gives a reflection on why the mill rates are going to change a little bit. We tried to do a fair assessment,” added Bergen.
Residential currently sits at $66,076,560, farmland is at $60,030, non-residential is $13,875,750, linear is at $1,725,710 and machinery and equipment is at $1,190,790.
Total assessment rings in at $82,928,840. Updates to all of the property happened because the town used a new assessor for this year and they did physical estimates for all, which led to new assessment projections.
They estimate their revenues from all sources other than property taxes comes in at $1,813,390 while their estimated amount required to repay debt which will be collected by general taxation is at $48,106.
The estimated amount required for current year capital expenditures to be raised by taxation is at $81,876 which leads to $706,415 as the total amount to be raised for general municipal taxation.
“We passed our operating budget on March 21 and we had revenues of $1.8 million and our total expenditures excluding amortization was $2.3 million which left $576,000 to be cooperated by general municipal property taxation. Plus our debenture payments plus any capital items that are going to be brought over to reserves or funded through operations. That left us to collect $706,000 for municipal revenue this year. Last year it was $638,000,”continued Bergen.
Requisitions for the Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) are at $171,735 for residential and farm land and $50,189 for non-residential.
Other requisitions include Barons-Eureka-Warner Family and Community Support Services at $9,117, Vauxhall Public Library at $25,000, Chinook Regional Library systems at $9,593, Oldman River Regional Services Commission at $7,197 and the Seniors Foundation at $7,754.
With each scenario bringing different mill rates for each of the different property tax types, council wanted to know what each brought to the table.
“For scenario number one, the total increase for commercial would be $168 and residential would be $149. Scenario number two, the commercial would get hit a little harder with an average increase of $392 and residential $78. Scenario three it was $285 and $152,” stated Bergen.
“The worst case scenario is we are looking at, on the residential side, a 7.5 per cent increase in scenarios one and three and a four per cent increase in scenario two.”
Council was in agreement that scenario one would be the best option moving forward for the municipality’s residents in 2018.
For the general municipal that shows a 6.9678 tax rate for residential, 17.1855 for farm land, 16.1192 for non-residential and 17.1855 for machinery and equipment.
ASFF residential and farm land has a tax rate of 2.5967 and non-residential is 3.2169.
A motion was put forward to accept scenario one as the option moving forward.
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.