Cold Lake City Council passed the tax rate yesterday, establishing a rate that will see, on average, a 0.18 per cent increase for the average Cold Lake property owner.
Once the Province’s Education Tax is figured into property taxes, the average residential property owner will pay about 2.3 per cent more this year than last.
“The provincial government has not increased the education tax rate, but they are charging the same rate against historical assessments that were higher than before, resulting in an increase in education tax that our residents will pay,” Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said.
“The province is focusing on their decision to leave their rate unchanged when they know assessments have risen. That’s not a transparent way of communicating the impact their decisions will have on our residents, especially when assessments no longer reflect the economic reality people are facing.”
The City of Cold Lake sets its tax rate according to the amount of money it needs to meet its budget. Historically, as assessments in the community have gone up, the tax rate has been lowered.
Assessment in the City dropped by about $200 million from the previous year. The 2016 residential tax rate was set at 6.1630, up from 5.4555. The multi-family residential tax rate was set at 6.9250, up from 5.4555 and the commercial tax rate went down to 10.7920 from 11.0600.
On average, all property owners will equally share the 0.18 per cent municipal increase.
In total, just over $19 million will be collected in municipal property tax to fund the City’s $60.4 million operating budget, which includes a $20 million transfer to the capital budget. Inclusive of the transfer, the 2016 capital budget stands at approximately $45.5 million.
“We know times are tough and we wanted to do what we could to keep people’s money in their pockets while still moving forward as a City,” Copeland said.
*Press Release from the City of Cold Lake