April 29, 2020 News Release
Tax Rate Bylaw
At the April 28, 2020 Council Meeting, Kneehill County Council passed Tax Rate Bylaw 1814. Under the new bylaw, changes to the residential tax burden are modest, non-residential gas producers will see an overall reduction in tax burden, while some commercial businesses and farmland will see a modest increase to support continued services levels and investment in the community.
There are a number of factors that contributed to the slight increase in rates. While Kneehill County Council and staff have undertaken a number of cost-cutting measures to compensate for anticipated loss of revenues, provincial policies have created major challenges for the County in 2020.
A portion of the costs related to RCMP policing will now be paid by Kneehill County. Starting at $160,000 in 2020, this cost is expected to grow to $480,000 by 2023.
The 35% property tax reduction relief to shallow gas producers will not be provincially funded in 2020, representing a loss to the County of approximately $1.9 million, or 7% of 2020’s budget revenue. In addition, the County will see a 25% reduction in provincial capital funding from 2020-2022, for a further loss of approximately $600,000.
“To say it’s been a challenging year for all of us in the County is an understatement,” said Kneehill County Reeve, Jerry Wittstock. “It’s important that we keep our service levels up for residents, continue supporting our communities and make solid investments in our future—now more than ever.”
Under the new tax bylaw, the average hamlet home will see an increase of $10 a year for municipal services and a further increase of $5 for Provincial Education support, with the average acreage owner seeing an increase of $25 per year for municipal services and a further $12.50 for Provincial Education support.
It’s important to note that the Education portion of each tax bill is not a charge from Kneehill County, but a requisition from the province. Kneehill County collects this portion on their behalf, and forwards the payment onto the province.
As in previous years, a minimum tax of $100 per parcel will be assessed for the municipal levy. Kneehill County’s combined assessment/taxation notices will be mailed out to ratepayers June 15th, 2020. Taxes will be due October 31, 2020.