Beaver County Warns Taxes Could Increase
The Government of Alberta is proposing a new method of assessing oil and gas industries – a model which could lead to residential mill rate increases of 83 percent to 103 percent.
For over a year, the Provincial Government has been studying the assessment of oil and gas wells. The review originated from pressure from industry to reduce property taxes and enhance their competitiveness in a challenging economy.
The Government has released four possible options. In all cases, Beaver County will lose 12 percent to 15 percent of its annual revenue in oil and gas property taxes.
This comes on the heels of the County’s struggle to collect taxes from this industry. Over $3 million is owed to the County from bankrupt and financially-stressed oil and gas companies, with little hope of collection.
“The County has used grants and reserves in the past to maintain services”, explains Reeve Jim Kallal, “but we will not be able to weather this recent storm without serious impacts to our residents. The implications of the assessment loss could mean an increase in the residential mill rate of up to 103%, an increase in the non-residential mill rate of up to 58%, a reduction in full-time staff of 64%, or a combination of these three.”
“In addition,” he warns, “reduced tax revenue may dramatically impact service levels, including County infrastructure (roads and bridges) and grant funding to the towns, villages, and other community partners in the region that provide fire protection, emergency services, social services, recreation, library, and cultural services, etc.”
The Government of Alberta is accepting input on the proposed assessment models from municipalities and other interested stakeholders within the next 30 days. County Council will be speaking to local MLAs and other government officials and encourages you to lend your voice to this matter.