NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association urge the Provincial Government to reverse its decision from Budget 2016 and reinstate payment of the education property taxes on properties eligible for Grants in Place of Taxes (GIPOT).
WHEREAS beginning in the current tax year, a change was made to the grants in place of taxes (GIPOT) program whereby Municipal Affairs will no longer pay the education property tax on properties eligible for GIPOT;
WHEREAS this places an unfair burden for education property taxes on the remaining non-residential properties within the Municipality.
The Minister’s response confirms that through Bill 21, these properties have been removed from the equalized assessment and therefore no longer pay education property tax. This change removes the need for municipalities to receive a grant from government for GIPOT properties and remit it back to the province.
This change results in about 0.58 per cent of the $2.4 billion education property tax requisition (about $14 million) being distributed amongst property tax payers.
The solution implemented by the province through the Modernized Municipal Government Act removes the needless step of municipalities having to request a grant and then remit it back to the province. The change has a small cost to all property owners across the province (e.g., about $5.62 in additional education property tax per year for an average Edmonton single detached home of $397,000) but it removes the targeted extra burden to municipalities that was experienced in the 2015 tax year and does not create additional costs for municipalities with GIPOT properties.
Further, as removing GIPOT properties from the equalized assessment base has been recently entrenched into legislation through Bill 21, the province has strongly signaled its commitment to this approach.