Stettler residents will have a two per cent hike in municipal property tax

Stettler residents will see an increment of two per cent in their municipal property taxes, according to the Town of Stettler.

Stettler residents will see an increment of two per cent in their municipal property taxes, according to the Town of Stettler.

The 2017 Operating and Capital Budgets for the Town of Stettler will enable town council to maintain the current high level of public services, facilities and utilities for all Stettler residents, which explains the hike.

“Town budgets also recognize the municipality’s responsibility to plan for continuous renewal of existing infrastructure and equipment on an affordable and cautious basis given the current economic conditions in east central Alberta,” said CAO Greg Switenky. “Property taxes are calculated based upon the calendar year, and in the Town of Stettler are due without penalty on or before June 30 of this year, unless the taxpayer is participating in the Town’s tax installment plan, 12-monthly direct debits without interest.”

Switenky said that at the time the Town was not aware of how its 2017 municipal property tax increase at two per cent compares with decisions made/being made by other municipalities in the area/region.

“Operational costs along with capital infrastructure/equipment programs and facilities vary significantly between municipalities,” Switenky said. “Therefore, each municipality must independently consider annual budgetary pressures necessary to provide the desired level of local services to ensure their communities remain sustainable going forward on an affordable and responsible basis.”

Switenky further explained that the town council when considering property tax impacts is also mindful of the additional municipal utility rate increases that were set back in January 2017.

When property owners in town receive their 2017 Combined Assessment and Tax Notice, they will also be receiving an insert, which will explain the hike further.

Switenky stated that it has been explained in the insert how a standard (sample) residential home in Stettler will see a property tax increase in 2017 of $44 over 2016; representing $31 for municipal tax purposes, $7 for education, and $6 for housing. “Additionally, Town Water, Sewer, Garbage and Recycling fees are estimated to cost the average residential property $25 more in 2017 for a combined annual increase of $69 over 2016, representing an 1.82 per cent increase over 2016,” Switenky stated.

The 2017 Operating Budget for the Town of Stettler is $17,945,711 and requires $5,648,671 to be raised from property taxation for municipal purposes; $2,221,393 to Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF); and $290,362 to County of Stettler Housing Authority.

The amount of tax needing to be generated from existing properties has increased by $107,492, which is two per cent over 2016, while construction growth that occurred in 2016 will generate an additional $17,748 in new municipal property taxes for 2017.