NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association urge the provincial government to instate a deadline of no later than February 28th annually for the release of the Education Property Tax for municipalities as to allow municipalities to send tax notices in a timely manner.
WHEREAS section 351 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires Municipalities to collect the Education Property tax to be pooled into the Alberta School Foundation Fund;
WHEREAS Municipalities require the amount of this tax, reported by the Government of Alberta, before tax notices can be sent to property owners;
WHEREAS In 2016 the Education Property Tax amounts were not announced until April 14th when the budget was released;
WHEREAS section 242 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) requires Municipalities to have a budget for the calendar year or adopt an interim budget before the beginning of the calendar year;
WHEREAS instating a fixed date provides a mechanism for Municipalities to schedule the release of tax notices to residents.
AUMA rejects government response:
The Minister’s response stated that the province will continue to set the requisition at 32 per cent of the cost of education funding. Further, the response stated that the province cannot release the specific amount until the Kindergarten to Grade 12 program costs are confirmed as part of the annual budget process.
Government's response does not address that the need for municipalities to have the education property tax requisition in a timely manner. Further, it is highly unlikely that the province will reconsider its decision to link the requisition to the costs of the education system.
AUMA is suggesting that the province consider using a one-year lag, and set the current year’s education tax requisition as 32 per cent of the prior year’s cost of education. This would enable the province to fulfill its goal of linking the tax requisition to education costs but would not put the municipal property tax bills at risk if the budget is released late.