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Property Tax Assessment and Overall Equity

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Resolution Category: 
C.ii.9
Subject: 
Year: 
2009
Status: 
Adopted
Active Clauses: 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association requests the Government of Alberta to:
• Actively involve municipalities in any review of the property tax and assessment system
• Compensate municipalities directly affected by changes to this system if those changes reduce property tax revenues.

Whereas Clauses: 

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta recognizes that the property tax is currently the primary revenue source of municipalities;

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has received reports from various resourcebased industry sectors including MLA task forces which have economic sustainability concerns and seek relief in their overall costs including fees and taxes set or controlled by the Government of Alberta including municipal assessment and taxation regulations;

WHEREAS Municipalities recognize the importance of industry to Alberta’s economy and respect the need to support industry concerns on regulations and overall costs from government...particularly in economically challenging times;

WHEREAS Individual municipalities have the authority to rebate property taxes and have done so in particular circumstances to support industry;

WHEREAS Municipalities expect the Government of Alberta to fully involve them if the Province wishes to alter the property tax and assessment system to support or incent particular industries in other municipalities; and

WHEREAS any decisions made should consider the full impacts on overall fairness and equity of the system and compensate for any direct revenue loss to those municipalities affected.

Government Response: 

Jun 25, 2010 - Municipal Affairs 

In the past, the Government of Alberta has involved affected stakeholders, including municipalities, in reviews of the property assessment system, and will continue to do so. Significant involvement of stakeholders has been provided for through working groups, focus groups and web-based consultations.

At this time, no significant changes are being contemplated to the property assessment and tax system in Alberta for industrial properties. It is expected that the current three year review cycle of the assessment procedures and depreciation standards for regulated industrial properties will not include any significant policy changes. As in the past, stakeholders will be consulted and asked to provide input before the current review is complete, resulting in recommendations for implementation or the 2011 taxation year.

The Government of Alberta appreciates and values the involvement and input of all stakeholders in an effort to maintain a fair and equitable property assessment and tax system in Alberta.

AUMA Notes: 

AUMA does not accept this response and will continue to advocate for a better consultation process between the provincial and municipal governments and for the full and meaningful engagement of municipalities and municipal associations during all reviews of the MGA.