By Cole Parkinson
Vauxhall town council has set their 2019 tax rates for the municipality.
Council was presented with six scenarios at their regular council meeting on May 21 to choose from in order to set the rates for 2019.
“The first one is the most favourable. Just a bit of background, our assessor went through most of the houses in town and re-assessed a lot of properties. Some went way up, some went way down but now they are more on a level of some sort. The first scenario I have, this individual’s assessment did not change and with these proposed rates, the property taxes will actually go down $10.46,” said Wendy Bergen, CFO for the Town of Vauxhall. “If you jump down to number five, his assessed value went up to $11,000 so his property taxes will go up $104 for the year. Hopefully next year, with all the assessments being re-done, it might have some level of consistency.”
The total amount raised by general municipal taxation under the preferred option is $842,571 under the Property Tax Bylaw.
Alberta School Foundation Fund is $176,069 for residential/farm land and $64,296 for non-residential for a total of $240,365.
Assessed value of all property in the town of Vauxhall is residential ($68,563,690), farmland ($60,380), non-residential ($15,334,650), Designated Industrial Property (DIP) ($1,765,330) and machinery and equipment ($475,660), for a total assessment value of $86,199,710.
Tax rates in the municipality are residential (7.5960), farm land (16.8279), non-residential (16.8279), non-residential (16.8279), machinery and equipment (16.8279) and DIP (0.0786).
The tax levy then has a total of $842,571.
ASFF (residential and farm land) is 2.5657 and ASFF (non-residential) is 3.7600 for a tax levy of $240,365.
The total tax levy comes in at $1,082,936.
The minimum payable property tax for general municipal purposes was raised to $500.
Council asked why scenario one would be the preferred route.
“I believe it is the most equal across the board for both residential and commercial,” answered Bergen. “Last year we implemented a $400 minimum tax. This year with lumping all the requisitions together under municipal, we lost out on lots of that. We tried to supplement that by upping the $500 minimum this year.”
With a couple of new councillors in place, it was explained a bit more as to why the minimum tax was put in place.
“We put that in place for a couple of reasons. The first being for vacant lots because we had to change our taxes all around with the information that Municipal Affairs gave us so we lost a lot of tax base. We had to find figure a way to claim that so one of those ways was from that minimum tax,” said Mayor Margaret Plumtree.
“More municipalities are doing it now,” added Bergen.
Council raised no issue with the minimum tax being set at $500.
“If our taxes are competitive, I have no problems,” stated Coun. Ray Coad.
They were also in favour of the rates provided in scenario one.
“The recommendation is a very similar mill rate to last year. Of course, some assessments are way up and some are way down, but again there is nothing we can do about that. It is what it is for each property owner. Similar mill rates, similar yields and it gives us what we need,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Phillips.
In 2018, the general municipal was a 6.9678 tax rate for residential, 17.1855 for farmland, 16.1192 for non-residential and 17.1855 for machinery and equipment while ASFF residential and farmland had a tax rate of 2.5967 and non-residential was 3.2169.
Council passed all three readings of Bylaw 947-19 2019 Property Tax.
They also discussed Bylaw 946-19 Special Tax for Repair and Maintenance. The charge was listed as $5.80 per frontage foot to all properties with a maximum frontage per property is 300ft. All three readings passed.