County shares cost of oilfield site assessment fight

Red Deer County has agreed to share the cost of a legal fight over how oilfield sites are assessed. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for municipalities is at stake.

Red Deer County has agreed to share the cost of a legal fight over how oilfield sites are assessed.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for municipalities is at stake.

The dispute arose out of assessment changes made this year by four counties and the Municipal District of Taber, county council heard on Tuesday.

Instead of assessing oilfield sites as farmland, they are now assessed at market value as non-residential properties. The change generated $331,580 in revenue for Red Deer County this year.

Two companies, one in Red Deer County and one in Kneehill County, appealed the changes and a hearing is set for next month. The Red Deer County company eventually dropped its appeal, but the other company is going ahead and the appeal hearing is expected to last five days and cost about $77,000.

Since the appeal has a bearing on all five municipalities, Kneehill County has asked for costs to be shared among them. The group also includes Lacombe County and the County of Wetaskiwin.

Red Deer County council voted unanimously to share up to 20 per cent of the costs to a maximum of $30,000.

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