by Tristan Turner
Morinville taxpayers now know how the Town Budget will affect their own, with some clear numbers from Council on tax rates. Council has unanimously passed all three readings in one night from the 2016 Tax Bylaw that supports the 2016 budget. Ratepayers will be paying approximately $61.40 more this year, based on a home valued at $300,000 following the vote.
While unusual, Council has passed all three readings of a Bylaw in one night many times before. In this instance, all three readings were given so that tax notices can be given out with the required notice as outlined in the MGA. While usually these bylaws would come forward earlier in April allowing them multiple meetings of review, Shawna Jason, Interim Director of Financial Services with the Town, told Council that the later presentation was a result of the province lagging behind on forwarding school tax rate information.
This increase includes a $0.27 increase to the Sturgeon Foundation requisition, and a $1.64 increase to the school requisition, both rates that are not set by the Town. The municipal tax increase is $59.49 based on a $300,000 home, a three per cent rise over last year.
The total percentage increase from last year’s final total is 2.24 per cent after the lower percentage increases are averaged out with the Town increase.
These numbers are averages assuming a $300,000 property value, so individual resident’s bills will be different come tax time, particularly if the assessed value of a property significantly changed due to renovations or other changes.
There was limited discussion of the motion, but Councillor Gordon Putnam commented that that this motion was given three readings in one night because of the chance council had to review this information at an earlier Committee of the Whole meeting.