The delivery of two petitions has delayed the sending of the County of Stettler’s tax notices for this year, though with a deadline of the end of June, they should not be long in coming.
At its last meeting, councillors voted to raise the municipal tax rate by three per cent, higher than the recommended 1.5 per cent suggested by staff. The 1.5 per cent tax increase would handle inflation, assistant CAO Yvette Cassidy explained.
The primary petition calls for a plebiscite on the borrowing bylaw for the county shop facility, and council will have to either decide to kill the bylaw or go ahead with a plebiscite, which would cost roughly $24,000, Cassidy explained.
The decision will come at the next county council meeting, and after that, Cassidy expects council will either “affirm” the existing tax bylaw or provide adequate direction for the notices to be sent out.
The municipal tax rate is only part of the taxes collected by the county. The other parts include a school and housing levy, rates that are not set by the county. So while the municipal tax rate may increase three per cent, depending on the other levies, the actual increase may be more or less than three per cent.
The taxes are based on property assessments as well, so property owners who have seen their property’s values decrease may have their taxes rise less than the proposed percentage, while those whose properties have increased in value may see higher increases.
Cassidy said that until council confirms how it will move ahead, she’s not sure what those percentages will be, but said they would be calculated after the meeting.