SUNDRE — Council unanimously and with little discussion carried a motion setting the 2021 residential and non-residential tax rates the same as last year.
Chris Albert, director of corporate services, reminded council during the regular April 26 meeting conducted by teleconference, that the budget had previously been approved in December.
That budget maintained spending levels that very closely resemble last year’s, said Albert.
“It was actually slightly below,” he said.
The other important component that is factored into calculating the tax rate is overall assessment, which slightly decreased this year, he said.
“As a net number, it’s gone down about 1.3 per cent. That’s an approximate, and that’s across residential and non-residential properties,” he said.
“The tax rate is a method of distributing the required taxation revenue across all property owners, and is based on the relative value of the subject properties, as compared to others in the town.”
Albert outlined administration’s recommendation, which was to maintain the 2021 tax rates the same as last year, meaning a mill rate of 8.388 for residential properties and 12.378 for non-residential.
“The individual experience for keeping this rate the same will vary across property owners. It’s really dependent on those changes in assessment values for those individuals,” he said.
But based on a calculation of an average property valued at $225,000 that experienced the average assessment decrease of 1.3 per cent, Albert said that hypothetical property owner would be looking at an approximately $35 per year reduction to their out-of-pocket expenses for property taxes.
Seeking clarification on a point, Coun. Cheri Funke asked, “Technically, if the (provincial) government hadn’t imposed policing costs on us this year for $65,000, potentially our taxes could have gone down, correct?”
“That would be correct, yes,” replied Albert.
Council proceeded to unanimously carry all of the required readings to approve the 2021 tax rates.
“The fact that we adopted a zero percent increase in the budget, that puts Sundre a step ahead during these terrible COVID times,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Warnock, expressing gratitude for administration’s work. “It is a good news story."