In passing the 2014 operating and capital budgets late in 2013, town council approved an overall tax revenue increase of 1.5 per cent, with the understanding that school and seniors requisition rates had not yet been set by the province, and would impact the municipality’s overall tax rate increase in the new year.
On April 14, council voted unanimously to pass third and final reading of Property Tax Bylaw No. 3-2014. The total residential and farm land tax rate for 2014 is 9.7817 mills, and for non-residential 15.0706 mills. This represents increases from 2013 of 1.45 per cent and .66 per cent, respectively. The machinery and equipment tax rate for 2014 is 11.3239 mills, an increase of 1.86 per cent.
Factoring in school and seniors requisitions announced in the provincial budget, the total municipal property tax rate increase for 2014 is 2.96 per cent for residential and farmland, 1.85 per cent for non-residential, and 1.85 per cent for machinery and equipment.
School requisitions for the town of Taber total $2,471,474, while the seniors requisition comes in at $69,551. The residential and farmland school requisition tax rate is 2.5312 mills, a decrease of 2.66 per cent from 2013, while the non-residential school requisition tax rate is 3.7467 mills, a decrease of 2.83 per cent from 2013. The seniors requisition tax rate for both residential and non-residential is .0740 mills, representing a 3.5 per cent increase over 2013.
“It looks like on most all properties that we’re looking at the school taxes went down,” said Coun. Rick Popadynetz. “It’s unfortunate that we don’t have control over school taxes, because some years they’ll throw in a seven-per-cent increase, and then this year there’s going to be a decrease. It’s unfortunate we don’t have control over that — it’s a shame the province keeps throwing this kind of thing at us.”
The proposed school tax rates are calculated based on the overall education requisition required by the province, broken into residential and farmland, non-residential, and machinery and equipment for both the public and separate school systems.
“The school taxes actually will go down a little bit,” said Dale Culler, director of corporate services. “This year there will be a decrease in the school taxes on a percentage basis.”
Operating expenditures and transfers for the Town of Taber for 2014 are estimated at $20,268,340. Capital expenditures for the same time period are estimated at $5,328,040.
Operating revenues and transfers from all other sources other than property taxation for the same period are estimated to be $12,342,018, with a balance of $7,926,322 to be raised through general municipal taxes.
Capital revenues and transfers for 2014 include $2,573,990 transferred from capital reserves, $2,606,550 in grants from other governments, and $147,500 in other revenues.
The total assessed value of all property in the town of Taber is $944,182,150.
Mayor Henk De Vlieger noted the addition of provincially-mandated school and seniors requisitions to municipal property tax assessments months after passing of the municipal budgets can often be confusing.
“I think for the average taxpayer it’s probably a little confusing, because as council we were striving for 1.5 per cent, and then for residential it’s about 2.96 per cent.”
Culler pointed to a difference between the percentage increase town council set in the 2014 budgets and a tax rate increase.
“Don’t forget that what council said in the budget was identifying tax revenue dollars, as opposed to a rate. When you think about it, the amount of money that you’re going to pay is really a mathematical formula based on your assessment and the rate that is established.”
In a follow-up motion, council also voted unanimously to pass third and final reading of Supplementary Property Tax Bylaw 4-2014. The bylaw allows for supplementary assessments throughout the year for improvements that are completed or begin to operate, occupied during all or any part of the year, or moved into the town of Taber during the year and not taxed in that year by another municipality.
To calculate property tax, multiply the assessed value of a property by the mill rate and then divide by 1,000. For example, a property with an assessed value of $50,000 located in a municipality with a mill rate of 20 mills would have a property tax bill of $1,000 per year.