On April 10th, the Town of Bonnyville Mayor & Council were presented with the 2017 property assessments by Accurate Assessments Group Ltd. Overall, the Town will see a decrease in both residential and non-residential assessment value. Residential saw a decrease of eight percent and non-residential a decrease of eleven percent from 2016.
The decreases account for an overall loss of $100,435.890 in assessment value.
For 33 percent of the properties there is an individual decrease of 10 to 25 percent of the value, and for 57 percent of properties there is a individual decrease of 1 to 10 percent of the value. 107 properties, or 4 percent of the properties, saw a decrease greater than 25 percent of the value.
Since the height of 2014, Bonnyville has continued to see a decrease in assessment from year to year.
Assessment Specialist, Bob Daudelin, “up to 2014 there was an increase in assessment. There after, there has been a steady decrease.”
Linear, farm land and except properties held steady with no increase or decrease in assessment value.
Daudelin told the Town he’s experienced both dips in assessment, as well as communities that have held through the recession with no change.
“Fox Creek has been going strong, they’ve been busy this whole time,” said Daudelin when comparing Bonnyville to other oil & gas communities.
“I can also speak to the other side. In 2013-14 when things were going up, other communities were seeing five percent increases, Bonnyville was exceeding that.”
A decrease in assessments means property owners may see a lower tax bill from the Town. That is if the Town does not increase its millrate.
Property owner’s tax bill is determined by multiplying the assessed value of the property by the millrate.
The Town of Bonnyville has not set its millrate. However, when passing the intern budget in December 2017, there was discussion of an increase to the millrate should the assessments decrease substantially.
Accurate Assessments Group Ltd. also provided the Town with stats on development permits. 2017 saw an increase in permits, however it was substantially less than in 2014. In 2014, there were 222 permits pulled, in 2016 there were 156 and in 2017 there was an increase to 164.
Although, the Town continues to see a decrease in overall assessment values, from the increase in development permits, it is looking promising that the Town is headed for an upswing in 2018.
Mayor of Bonnyville, Gene Sobolewski thanked the team, with humour, for the “rather depressing report, but informative.” The Mayor did not speak to whether or not the Town would adjust its millrate for the 2018 budget to account for the decrease. That will likely be decided in the next few weeks at a Regular Council Meeting.