Coun­cil ap­proves 3% mill rate hike

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Kyle Smylie

Drumheller town coun­cil ap­proved the 2016 mill rate on Mon­day and res­i­dents will see a rise in their prop­erty taxes this year.

The new res­i­den­tial mill rate, set at 0.0070016 based on an as­sess­ment of $ 960,302,040, is a hike in rev­enue of 3 per cent.

“It’s the trou­bled eco­nomic times and you want to keep it as close to the line as pos­si­ble,” said Mayor Terry Ye­men af­ter the coun­cil meet­ing Mon­day. “The only other op­tion was a re­duc­tion in ser­vices but we didn’t want to go there.”

The rate had been set at 2 per cent for a long time, and coun­cil had worked to tow that line, but “it just wasn’t go­ing to work,” said Mayor Ye­men.

Coun­cil­lor Jay Gar­butt noted that a large por­tion of the town bud­get was weighted down with salaries and wages that were in­creas­ing on an an­nual ba­sis.

At the meet­ing Coun­cil­lor Pa­trick Ko­lafa also pointed out that the prov­ince’s de­ci­sion to not re­in­state grants in lieu of taxes for so­cial hous­ing units in their 2016 pro­vin­cial bud­get ac­counts for a por­tion of the short­fall.

A one per cent in­crease in taxes is around $83,000 to $85,000 and the grant in lieu of taxes cut by the prov­ince was around $63,000.

The 2016 Op­er­at­ing Bud­get which was pre­vi­ously ap­proved by coun­cil on Fe­bru­ary 22 de­tailed a3 per cent in­crease in mu­nic­i­pal prop­erty tax req­ui­si­tion.

On av­er­age, the mu­nic­i­pal

It’s the trou­bled eco­nomic times and you want to keep it as close to the line as pos­si­ble."

Mayor Terry Ye­men

por­tion of the tax bill will re­flect a 3 per cent in­crease.

For ex­am­ple, a res­i­den­tial prop­erty as­sessed at $200,000 will see a tax bill in­crease of $66, from $2,060 in 2015 to $2,126 in 2016.

The 2016 Al­berta School Foun­da­tion Fund (ASFF) req­ui­si­tion de­creased by 0.69 per cent, so most res­i­den­tial tax­pay­ers will see a de­crease in the ASFF levy amount on their tax no­tice. The non res­i­den­tial and ma­chin­ery and equip­ment mill rate was set at 0.0119920.

The req­ui­si­tion for the Drumheller and District Se­nior Foun­da­tion is $499,890, the mill rate was set at 0.00520525.

The Ed­u­ca­tion req­ui­si­tion for the Al­berta School Foun­da­tion is $2,265,913.88 and the req­ui­si­tion for the Christ the Redeemer School Divi­sion is $436,307.76. The mill rate for the Ed­u­ca­tion req­ui­si­tion was set at 0.00250924.

Both the Se­nior Foun­da­tion and ed­u­ca­tion amount are not set by the town how­ever the town is tasked with col­lect­ing these amounts.

While you can’t ap­peal your taxes, you may ap­peal your prop­erty as­sess­ment. This must be done within 60 days of the mail­ing date of the tax no­tice. More in­for­ma­tion can be found on the town’s web­site, www.di­nosaur­val­ley.com.

file photo

Coun­cil ap­proved an in­crease in the res­i­den­tial mill rate at 3 per cent on Mon­day night. The move comes af­ter the town saw a de­crease in fund­ing from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment in their 2016 bud­get.

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