During the regular meeting of May 15, council adopted Bylaw 03-17, being the 2017 Mill Rate Bylaw, as proposed by Town administration.
The 2017 Operating Budget which was previously approved by Council on February 21, 2017 detailed a 0% increase to the municipal property tax requisition. On average, the municipal portion of the tax bill will reflect a 0% increase.
The town has held the line on the 0 per cent but there are holes that need to be filled including the Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) requisition and the Drumheller and District Seniors Foundation (DDSF) requisition.
The mill rate is a formula administration uses to set the tax level, whereas the ASFF and DDSF are completely separate.
“It really has no bearing at all on the mill rate,” said Mayor Terry Yemen.
The mill rate is not a part of the requisitions but the Town is responsible for collecting so they use the same forms to do so. Once the money is collected, it is immediately sent to the schools and seniors requisitioning.
“It’s money in, money out – this is the vehicle we use to collect it,” said Yemen.
Both accounts in the ASFF and DDSF found a decrease, therefore must be brought up by taxpayers. The ASFF decreased by 0.11 per cent and the DDSF requisition increased by 4.12% over 2016.
The reason behind the 0 per cent increase on the taxes was because of the economy.
“It’s because of the situation Alberta is in so we felt that if there was anything we could do to kind of lessen the burden and help out a little bit then we should do it,” said Yemen.
Council plans to build up a healthy reserve but will hold off to let taxpayers have a break for the year. Yemen warns that this stability won’t last forever as reserves shrink and as inflation increases and decreases throughout the times.
“It’s certainly not something that is sustainable by going 0 increase, 0 increase because you don’t have a lot of options and that’s just the reality of it,” said Yemen.
According to the analysis of property assessments within Drumheller, on average, residential values have also seen a decrease by 1.77 per cent. Commercial properties have decreased by 3.75 per cent.
Based on the 2017 requisitions; on average; a residential assessment of $200,000 in 2016, will increase on their tax bill by $8.03 where $1.85 will go towards the ASFF and the remainder of $6.18 will go to DDSF.
A residential assessment of $300,000 in 2016 will see an increase of $12.05 with $2.78 to ASFF and $9.27 DDSF on their 2017 tax bill.
Residents can find their new tax numbers online on the Town website at http://www.dinosaurvalley.com.
Finally, a commercial assessment of $500,000 in 2016 will see an increase of $85.50 with $70.05 to ASFF and $15.45 to DDSF on their 2017 tax bill.
In order to challenge your taxes, you must challenge the assessed value of your home. There is an application that can be filled out at the Town office.