County of Stettler No.6 sign on Hwy. 11. FILE PHOTO

County of Stettler questions payment of taxation on delinquent oil and gas companies

The County has sent a request to the Minister of Municipal Affairs to look into this issue.

The County of Stettler No. 6 has sent a written request to Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs to act upon immediately regarding a long-standing issue.

Although, not new, and a problem it has been facing for several years now, the county is obligated to collect and remit School and Seniors Housing Requisition Taxes on behalf of the provincial government.

“The county is required to remit these requisitions to the province regardless of whether the county itself has received payment of these requisitions by the ratepayers,” said Yvette Cassidy, assistant CAO. “In many cases, the oil and gas company ratepayers have become insolvent and the county has been unable to recover the significant School Tax and Seniors Housing requisitions levied by the provincial government against these companies. This is not just the County of Stettler’s hardship, it is affecting municipalities across our province, some more than others.”

According to Cassidy, the mandatory School Tax and Seniors Housing requisition remittance for these oil companies is paid to the provincial government out of the municipality’s operating budgets, because of the county’s inability to collect these remittances due to the hardship faced by some of the county’s oil and gas companies.

From 2013-2016, the County of Stettler was obligated but unable to collect and has since then forwarded $260,882.28 in School Tax requisitions and $27,826.29 in Senior Housing requisitions to the Alberta Government on behalf of oil and gas companies.

“And these are all companies we have been unable to collect from, and as a result, this remittance had to be paid out of our operating budget, which comes from rural taxpayer’s pockets,” Cassidy added.

Reeve Wayne Nixon said, “School Tax and Seniors Housing requisitions are vital to maintaining the fabric of our standard of life here in Alberta. By forcing Alberta municipalities, including the county to undertake the collection of School Tax and Seniors Housing requisitions on behalf of the province, and thereby force municipalities to assume the risk that these amounts will be unrecoverable, the province has forced taxpayers within our county to carry the burden of the province’s debts.”

This issue was brought forward by Councillor Greggory Jackson on behalf of the County of Stettler in the fall of 2016 at the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) convention, and also, in a meeting that the county had with then Minister of Municipal Affairs, Danielle Larivee.

The County of Stettler had raised this issue again at the spring AAMDC conference in March 2017, and again, in a meeting with Minister Shaye Anderson in March.

“We are now facing a further predicted loss of $174,367 again in 2017 as we prepare School Tax remittance plus an additional $21,534 in Seniors Housing remittance, for several oil and gas companies already in arrears,” Cassidy stated. “Yet we remain obligated to use our operating budget to cover these uncollectable requisitions, placing the burden on our families and our community.”

In light of these challenging circumstances faced by the county, they have requested the following:

That the Minister consider reimbursing the county for uncollectable School Tax and Seniors Housing requisition remittances from 2013-2016 totalling $288,708.57; and moving forward the county should no longer carry the responsibility and burden of paying the province’s School Tax and Seniors Housing remittance on behalf of delinquent oil and gas sector industry.

Furthermore, the county believes that the continuation of Municipal Affairs Assessment Services Branch to allow for the taxation of properties they know, or should know, are in insolvency or under protection, is improper. Municipal Affairs Assessment Services Branch is intentionally and deliberately passing on a provincial debt to a municipality, knowing it will be unable to collect on that bad debt.

“We respectfully request more principled action from our leaders,” Reeve Nixon said. “We have also asked that future amendments to the MGA and other provincial legislation be considered to improve the ability of municipalities to recover unpaid taxes levied against oil and gas operations and the associated machinery and equipment and linear property.”

Just Posted

Coronation RCMP investigate hit and run with pedestrian

Truck strikes man clearing snow in Castor, motorist flees scene

RCMP chase suspect through Breton, Rimbey areas

Drayton Valley RCMP lay charges following pursuit of stolen vehicle Feb. 16

Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officers ask for the public’s help with unsolved poaching cases

Officers are seeking tips on five separate incidents in the Stettler & Camrose areas in November 2017

Stettler Hospital to host a pregnancy nutrition class later this month

Registered Dieticians will discuss strategies and tips for new and expecting mothers

Stettler Town Council lays out 2018 Strategic Plan

Five priorities identified for the Town to tackle this year

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

Students head to Florida capital to press for gun law change

Young protestors are joining a grassroots movement against gun violence in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida

Liberals look at use-it-or-lose-it parental leave for dads

Liberals looking at creating a use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

Fred Rogers, America’s favourite neighbour, celebrated in 2018

The golden anniversary of America’s favorite neighbor is being celebrated with a PBS special next month

Toddler breaks leg after boot sucked into escalator at Vancouver airport

A Calgary woman is reminding parents of the dangers of escalators after her toddler’s foot was stuck in one and he broke his leg

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.