Council sets tax rates for 2018
County takes step towards 5:1 ratio between highest and lowest tax rates
Lac La Biche County Council has approved 2018 property tax rates, and taken the first step towards complying with new provincial legislation while keeping taxes affordable for residents.
The municipal tax rate for residential properties has been raised from 2.5259 to 3.00. The tax rate, or mill rate, determines what amount per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value is taxable. In general, residential assessments are lower this year, which should offset the rate increase somewhat for many homeowners.
The rate for non-residential properties in the Urban Service Areas (in and around the hamlets of Lac La Biche and Plamondon) has gone down from 10.1688 to 10.00, and the rural non-residential rate has decreased from 18.5585 to 18.3647.
There are also provincial requisitions to fund education and seniors' lodges that affect tax bills, but these are outside the County's control.
Most residential properties will see a five to eight per cent increase in their total taxes this year, when assessment, provincial requisitions and local mill rates are taken into account.
According to Alberta’s revised Municipal Government Act, municipalities are required to achieve a 5:1 ratio between their highest and lowest tax rates, but there is currently no specific timeline for implementing this change. With the passing of the 2018 Tax Rate Bylaw, the ratio in Lac La Biche County has gone from 7.35:1 to 6.12:1 this year.
“Raising our residential rate now is a sensible step because assessments are down, generally speaking, and that means we can avoid placing a heavier burden on our residents,” said Mayor Omer Moghrabi. “Furthermore, we have an obligation to move towards achieving the 5:1 ratio. This is a necessary step, and Council is proceeding carefully to comply with legislation without severely impacting residents.”
Official tax notices will be mailed to all ratepayers later this month. The deadline to pay taxes without incurring penalties is Tuesday, July 3, 2018.