Despite cuts, county taxes under control — Fox

Farmland property owners will see minimal increases in property taxes, as the County of Stettler finalized

Farmland property owners will see minimal increases in property taxes, as the County of Stettler finalized its operating and capital budget after provincial funding cuts.

At its monthly meeting in May, county council adopted a revised budget of $29,401,675 to reflect funding cuts in provincial funding this spring and reduced revenue in linear property assessment and a downturn in the oil and gas industry.

“We tried to balance the budget without unnecessary burden on the taxpayers,” said Tim Fox, chief administrative officer.

“Average costs of taxes will be the same, if not less.”

If assessment goes up, taxes for municipal services will go up, and decrease if assessment is lower, he said as the county deals with reduced taxation and funding revenues.

“We’ll have to definitely work hard next year to deal with continued cuts and revenue.”

For farmland properties, the millrate rose by half a mill to 10.4408, as the only millrate to change.

“Farmers I have talked to don’t mind this increase when it will be paying for improvements in the their areas,” Coun. Joe Gendre said.

That will provide the county with additional funding of about $60,000, Fox said.

Millrates for other properties classes will remain the same as 2012.

This year, the county will lose more than $500,000.

“We saw a reduction of $200,000 this year from taxation from a downturn in the oil and gas industry with several wells shut in,” Fox said.

“Next year will be tough. It declines every year.”

Revenue of linear property tax has dropped by about $100,000 while the provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) program cut operating funds in half this year to $174,000 and will be eliminated next year.

As county departments were requested to cut expenses by to essential services and programs, the county trimmed expenses, with $750,000 cut from public works with two staff positions eliminated.

To repair the much-needed Donalda Bridge, the county has taken out $162,000 from reserves to pay for the project estimated at $354,000 and now opened to tenders.

During the provincial budget, funding was eliminated for bridge projects for counties and municipal districts.

Just Posted

Wm. E. Hay hands out awards

High School students honoured

Clearview Public Schools requesting modular classrooms for Gus Wetter School

School’s capacity decreased to 305 students from 358

Darrell Paulovich remembered after accident claims his life

A tragic accident claimed the life of a rodeo advocate over the weekend

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Defence cautions against mob justice in Calgary child neglect trial

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark of Calgary have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death

Feds eyeing options to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions

Internal discussions have focused on an application-based process for speeding up pot pardons

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to dominate North American marijuana industry

Cannabis producers claim the U.S. is “rapidly losing” its competitive advantage to Canada

Federal government tables bill to transform prisoner segregation

Administrative and disciplinary segregation will be eliminated by Ottawa

Most Read