Sylvan Lake tax assessments vary widely, depending on location

Town of Sylvan Lake residents’ tax bill increases could vary considerably depending on where they live.

Town of Sylvan Lake residents’ tax bill increases could vary considerably depending on where they live.

How much residents will pay in taxes depends on their assessments, said Darren Moore, the town’s director of finance. Those whose homes have grown most in value see bigger tax bill increases.

A chart provided to council picked typical houses in the neighbourhoods of Fox Run, Lakeview and Hewlett Park.

The Fox Run home assessed at $357,490 would see the tax bill increase to $2,886.48 from $2,782.71, a difference of 3.7 per cent. A Lakeview house assessed at $309,110 will see a smaller increase. Its bill will go up 1.5 per cent, to $2,443.56 from $2,406.11. A Hewlett Park home assessed at $243,650 will see its tax bill go to $2,014.63 from $1,896.57, a 6.2 per cent increase.

Council approved the tax rate bylaw on Monday, which includes the municipal tax increase previously passed as well as the education requisition, which goes directly to the province. That requisition went up sharply this year to $5.4 million, a 9.9 per cent increase over last year. Separate levies for the Sylvan Lake Foundation and recreation are included in the final bill. The recreation levy, which goes into a reserve to fund future recreation projects, was boosted to $400,000 this year from $300,000 last year.

Roughly half the increase on residents’ tax bills are due to the education requisition, said Moore.

“It came in high,” said Mayor Susan Samson, of the education requisition. “It’s something we don’t control. It’s just something that’s passed back down to the residents.”

Samson said council worked hard to keep its share of taxes as low as it could despite the challenges faced by a growing community with many young families.

“Council was pleased with the end result.”

While it’s clear on tax notices that education is a big piece of the final bill “it’s always just the bottom number that hurts,” she said.

“I think if residents look at the details they’ll understand that the lion’s share is going over to the province.”

Council approved a 3.5 per cent increase on its municipal tax rates in December. Since assessments typically dropped one to 1.5 per cent last year, the average hit on tax bills just for the municipal side was projected to go up 2.7 per cent. That worked out to an average increase of $27.10 on the typical bill.

That number will go higher now the education requisition has been added to the bill.

Tax notices and assessments will be mailed out on June 1.

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