Several property owners in Turner Valley will have some financial relief with tax rates dropping for many this year.
Turner Valley Town council approved its 2019 tax rate at its May 21 regular meeting to remain the same as last year, yet a slight drop in property assessment values means a modest drop in taxes for many.
A home with an assessed value of $320,000 in 2018 that had a municipal tax levy of $2,453 and a drop in value by 1.1 per cent this year to $316,400 would incur a levy of $2,426, experiencing at $27 decrease in taxes.
This does not include the provincial education or seniors accommodation levies, both of which remained the same as last year, said Mayor Barry Crane
“We really didn’t want to see increases,” he said. “We challenged administration to find a savings and this year they came through. It will only get harder from here.”
The seniors housing requisition remained unchanged from last year and Turner Valley Town council approved no change to the education tax requisition – a decision made as a result of the provincial budget not yet being released.
According to the School Act, if a municipality hasn’t received the education requisition by March 15 its payment to the Alberta School Foundation will be based on the previous year’s amount.
Crane said if there are changes later this year, an adjustment will be made in 2020.
He said neither council nor administration have a final say in the requisition amounts.
“What we face all the time is, ‘Why are my taxes going up?’ he said. “From our side of the fence there are only certain things we have control of. The education tax is one of the bigger components that we don’t have control over.”
With the cost of living increasing, Crane doesn’t expect the Town’s ability to maintain its tax rate for the past three years to continue.
Yet he hopes with a new provincial government in place, there will be more support for small municipalities.
“We’re hoping to see good things and lots of collaboration and grants potentially come from that, but everyone is going to be in the same fish bowl fighting for the same accessible funds,” he said. “A lot of politics get played and there’s a lot of jockeying for positions. A lot of municipalities will get strapped for face time with the new minister.”
The Town’s 2019 operating budget is $3,039,527.