The Municipal District (MD) of Bonnyville Council is taking advantage of new provincial government legislation to implement a separate mill rate for small businesses. Reeve for the MD, Greg Sawchuk, explains, “that comes in response to what we were hearing during the election, from those (not only small), but businesses with up to those 50 employees, on the amount they were being taxed, for the level of services they were receiving.”
Council approved a 2018 mill rate for a new subclass called “Small Business”. The new legislation came about as a result of discussions regarding changes to the Municipal Government Act. “Also in recognition to the existing business climate,” says the reeve, “it’s very tough out there and a lot of businesses are struggling and they’re just treading water. Everyone is pulling back on the reigns and trying to live with a new economic picture.” The new rate will be 10 percent less than the Non-Residential Mill Rate. “Even to be able to provide [small business] with a little bit of a break, will help.”
Reeve Sawchuk explains that when MD Council heard of the initiative coming from the Provincial Government, they decided to get a head start on the tax break, by asking MD Administration to look into how to implement it. “It took a lot of work, by our finance department, to actually develop it. We’re happy that we’re able to jump on it right away.”
Details are still being worked out on how a small business can qualify and benefit from the tax break, explains the reeve, “the final paperwork hasn’t come through from the Provincial Government, yet. It looks like it’s going to be for 50 employees or less, will qualify you. How they will determine how you’ll qualify, whether that’s through T4s or what, we don’t know yet.”
As more information develops on the small business tax, it will be posted on md.bonnyville.ab.ca.