Town Mill Rate set for 0 per cent in­crease

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Terri Hux­ley

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 sus- tain­able 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.

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