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Minimum tax bill raised to $50

Council has raised the minimum property tax in Mountain View County from $10 to $50.

Council has raised the minimum property tax in Mountain View County from $10 to $50.The minimum rate is applied to very small parcels that are levied nominal amounts in taxes, corporate services director Greg Wiens told council at Wednesday's meeting.ìIt doesn't make sense to send out a bill for 43 cents,î Wiens said. ìWith a minimum tax Ö you're avoiding a nonsensical bill.îSince the county sends out a combined tax bill and assessment notice, the option of not sending a bill doesn't exist, he added.Asked how a property could have such a low tax bill, Wiens said: ìWe're a big county and there are a lot of odd-ball situations out there. It may be a fragmented parcel that doesn't look any different from the land around it.îSome municipalities, he said, set a higher minimum tax rate in order to recover their administrative costs. While the current $10 minimum adds about $700 to the county coffers, a $25 minimum would bring in $3,000 extra and a $50 minimum would add $9,000 in revenue.Reeve Paddy Munro asked how much it cost the county to process the tax bill, suggesting ìit's probably more like $100.î Div. 4 Coun. Bruce Beattie moved to increase the minimum tax to $25, but Munro amended the motion to up the amount to $50.Wiens, meanwhile, calculated that it cost about $30 per bill to cover the assessment department's management of the tax roll.Munro's amendment to increase the minimum to $50 was voted on and carried, with Div. 1 Coun. Kevin Good, Div. 2 Coun. Patricia McKean and Div. 5 Coun. Bob Orr in favour and Beattie, Div. 3 Coun. Duncan Milne and Div. 7 Coun. Al Kemmere opposed.The change puts MVC at the high end among municipalities that charge a minimum tax, along with RM of Woodbuffalo and Stettler County, based on a list compiled by corporate services. MD of Bighorn charges a $35 minimum, Clearwater and Yellowhead counties charge $25 and Rocky View County charges $20. No minimum levy is charged by Red Deer County, the towns of Olds and Didsbury, or Strathcona, Parkland or Leduc counties.