Friday , 9 June 2023

City discussing $3.15% tax increase in bylaw talks

Cold Lakers could see an increase on their property tax bill this year. 

City council passed first reading on the 2022 Tax Rate, which would see on average a 3.15 per cent tax increase. 

The bylaw sets the mill rates for residential and non-residential properties. It needs two readings in order to go in effect, which the council will do at their next council meeting on Tuesday, May 24. 

The Corporate Priorities Committee will also discuss further tomorrow. 

“People are going to be looking at about a 3.1 per cent municipal tax rate increase. Now, when you factor in the education component in Cold Lake, that education component is going to be going down,” said Mayor Craig Copeland on The Morning After. 

“So it’s quite possible that some people, even though we say 3 per cent tax increase, some people overall might see a little bit of a decrease and not be at three,” he said. 

The 2022 Tax Rate Bylaw reads currently that the Municipal Residential Tax Rate would be 8.7765, Multi-Family Residential Rate would be 8.9312, Non-Residential Tax Rate would be 12.7760.  

The City must generate $21,373,561 from municipal taxation to balance the 2022 budget, roughly $700,000 more than in 2021. 

Council passed the 2022 Operational Budget on December 12, 2021 in the amount of $52.8 million, which included $13.5M from ID349 taxation revenue. This is among one of the lowest ID revenues Cold Lake has received since 2012, due to lower than expected assessments from the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range. 

“Residents and business community in downtown Cold Lake are paying about $1,500 per capita to operate the city. And when you get the ID349, or the Air Weapons Range money coming in, that’s an extra $1,000 roughly per capita boost, maybe a little bit less, maybe 900-800. It just gives you more opportunity to do stuff in Cold Lake,” said Copeland. 

City notes from the May 10th meeting say there are still two “significant” assessment appeals outstanding from 2020 where $1.4M of revenue was held back until the appeals are settled. 

The PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) legal battle with the federal government on the value of the 4 Wing continues, with a hearing that happened in February/March of 2022, city notes say. This is related to taxes from 2013 to 2021. 

The Education Property Tax Requisition is $6,273,611 which requires a tax rate of 2.5415 for residential properties and 3.8451 for non-residential properties. 

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.