Municipalities left guessing what province wants in school taxes

Provincial election disrupted usual budgeting schedule in Edmonton

Alberta municipalities are setting tax rates while being left in the dark about how much they need to collect in tariffs on behalf of the provincial government.

The recent election interfered with provincial budgeting, so the amount of education taxes needed has not been determined.

That leaves municipalities guessing at how much they need to collect on behalf of the province.

In Lacombe, council considered several options earlier this week.

Senior financial services manager Justin de Bresser said administration considered, but rejected, collecting the same amount as last year.

“We decided against that, based on that it could compound the problem if rates do go up in 2019,” de Bresser told council. “It would compound the increase in 2020.”

The risk was that if, when the requisition numbers finally come in, the province boosts its take for 2019, the city could face a double whammy next year.

De Bresser said rather than come in low, staff estimated the school requisition based on historical averages.

Using that model, the city allowed for a six per cent increase in residential school taxes and eight per cent for non-residential properties.

The city collects about $20 million annually in education taxes for the province.

Red Deer County assistant county manager Ric Henderson said municipalities are not expecting to hear what the school requisition will be before tax notices must go out.

“I am pretty sure we won’t see that for a couple of months, by the time the government gets into the swing of things and gets organized.”

Red Deer County plans to go with the 2018 numbers and will adjust them later if needed.

“We have no idea what they’re going to do. So we’re just going to leave it as is from last year. It should be comparable.”

It’s not the first time this has happened. He has been told that the school requisition was not known as late as September on an occasion in the past.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Federal laws at heart of western anger up for debate as Liberals begin outreach

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quickly backed up his pledge for… Continue reading

Politically motivated: Lawsuit seeks to quash ‘anti-Alberta’ inquiry

EDMONTON — An environmental law firm is asking a court to strike… Continue reading

Opposition says it’s a dark day: Bill passes to fire Alberta election watchdog

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has passed a bill to fire election… Continue reading

PHOTO: Red Deerians get first look at Festival of Trees

Red Deerians got their first look at this year’s Festival of Trees… Continue reading

Ermineskin First Nation soon to become major electricity generator

One-megawatt solar energy project to begin selling power to provincial grid next month

Your community calendar

Nov. 19 The Mountview Sunnybrook Community Association will hold its AGM at… Continue reading

Opinion: Progress at city hall provides good reason for optimism

In May, the City of Red Deer hired its new city manager,… Continue reading

Humphries formally selected for USA Bobsled’s national team

Kaillie Humphries is officially part of USA Bobsled’s national team. The two-time… Continue reading

Hamilton receiver Banks leads East domination at CFL awards banquet

CALGARY — After dominating the 2019 regular season, Brandon Banks and the… Continue reading

Binnington makes 40 saves to help Blues beat Flames

Blues 5 Flames 0 ST. LOUIS — Jordan Binnington stopped 40 shots… Continue reading

Local Sports: Broken ankle didn’t hold Sydney Rix back for long

There was some talk going around RDC last season that a major… Continue reading

Sources: Jim Lawson to step down as chairman of the CFL’s board of governors

CALGARY — Jim Lawson’s time as CFL board chairman will end this… Continue reading

Federal laws at heart of western anger up for debate as Liberals begin outreach

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quickly backed up his pledge for… Continue reading

Most Read