- Published on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 10:35
- Written by Pat Kolafa | © DrumhellerMail.com
A drop in value of farmland in Starland may actually lead to a drop in taxes for some Starland residents.
Residents of Starland County are looking at a two per cent overall increase in municipal mill rate for all property classes. Despite the increase in mill rates, because of the drop in individual market assessments, many residential properties will see a decrease in municipal taxes.
“We felt the increase made sense because most farm residences will see a substantial decline in market values (around 15 per cent), and the farmland increase will simply offset the total farm unit taxes. Unfortunately, the market values did not decline in the Hamlets, so there will be approximately a 4.0 per cent increase in property taxes there,” stated a budget summary prepared by Starland CAO Ross Rawlusyk.
The Education Requisition was modest with the province requesting an increase of 0.12 per cent, however distribution has changed and non residential properties saw a 4.35 per cent decrease in the education mill rate, while residential and farmland properties saw a 7.56 per cent increase.
“For farmland and residential properties, everything increased this year. The school taxes went up 7.56 per cent, the non-collection allowance went up 11.53 per cent and the Seniors Foundation requisition increased by 19.23 per cent. Overall though, it averages to a 4.38 per cent increase for residential properties, and a 3.42 per cent increase for farmland taxation. Non-residential (linear and commercial) tax rates increased by less than 1.0 per cent, and Machinery and Equipment taxes are up by only 2.31 per cent,” states the summary. “Overall, I believe we have achieved a stable tax environment, and 2012 will see minimal changes. Of course, with annual assessments, landowners will need to carefully review their own property taxation to make sure there are no individual circumstances that affect their property.”
The 2012 capital budget is valued at $3,110,320. Contributing to that are the final costs for the new administration building and the purchase of a grader and tractor. Other purchases include a new fire truck for the Hamlet of Rumsey, upgrade to the protective services vehicle, expanding of rural water services, an Internet tower north of Drumheller and upgrades to playgrounds in Michichi and the Starland Recreational Area.
“In addition, because they meet the capital thresholds, we have budgeted the Gartley Road repairs, the Munson Road waterline lowering and some larger bridge files as capital projects. We did eliminate some capital projects from the wish list, but for the most part have accommodated all departments with significant capital funding. We will also be transferring our MSI Capital funding towards a new Public Works shop, and planning for this project could commence later this year. Starland County will remain debt free,” states the summary.