A total tax reduction of 0.3 per cent for residential and non-residential properties was unanimously approved by city councillors on Monday. (Advocate file photo)

A total tax reduction of 0.3 per cent for residential and non-residential properties was unanimously approved by city councillors on Monday. (Advocate file photo)

Many Red Deerians could see a slight property tax decrease for 2022

The impact on a typical $325,000 home will be a decrease of 80 cents a month

In a rare move, Red Deer city council approved a 2022 tax rate that will give many Red Deer property owners a slight break from last year.

A total tax reduction of 0.30 per cent for residential and non-residential properties was unanimously approved by city councillors on Monday. This includes provincial education and community living requisitions, which make up about a third of residential and non-residential property tax bills.

The impact on a typical $325,000 residential home will be a decrease of 80 cents a month, Joanne Parkin, revenue and assessment services manager for the City of Red Deer, told council.

Multi-family properties will see a slight increase of 1.06 to 0.53 per cent, however. City councillors had previously resolved to increase the rate for multi-family properties because they are usually revenue-generating for the property owners.

Parkin told councillors that Red Deer continues to rank average for residential taxes in comparison with other cities in Alberta and the rest of Canada.

A 2021 chart of estimated taxes per $1,000 of assessed residential properties showed Red Deerians paid $9.92, which fell between the amount paid of property taxes paid by residents of Saskatoon and Quebec City. While this was more than the rates paid by residents of Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary, it was less than paid by residents of Ottawa, Halifax and Winnipeg.

Red Deer ranks among the lowest in the province in non-residential taxes.

Council gave three readings to the Tax Rate Bylaw that establishes property tax rates for 2022 in keeping with a city council directive of a zero tax increase for this year.

Parkin stated in a report to council: “This option maintains average residential taxes, low multi-family taxes, and keeps property taxes for non-residential properties very low in support of a business-friendly environment.”

For 2022, tax penalty rates have been lowered from the historical seven percent to five percent. they apply to unpaid taxes and on taxes in arrears. This lower penalty rate will provide continued financial support for those having difficulty paying by the due date.

At Monday’s meeting city council also approved the Business Improvement Area (BIA) Tax Rate bylaw that applies to taxable businesses in the downtown. This funds the Downtown Business Association (DBA) budget, which was approved by Council in December.

There was no increase on the tax revenue requirement in 2022 and minimum tax will remain the same. “An increase in the number of businesses reopening or moving into the BIA may indicate signs that downtown business is beginning to stabilize and recover from the pandemic,” said John Sennema, Economic Development Manager.

Councillors praised administration for holding the line on 2022 property taxes. This was requested by council, in recognition of financial hardships experienced by Red Deerians because of the pandemic.

But Coun. Victor Doerksen noted this will not be the case going forward, as council was already told another zero tax increase year would be unsustainable given rising costs and inflation.

Council previously endorsed target tax hikes of up to 4.7 and 4.3 per cent for 2023 and 2024.

This year’s tax notices will be mailed no later than May 24. Property taxes are due by June 30.

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