by Morinville News Staff
Morinville was ranked best in the province for tax fairness on small businesses owners in a Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) report released Wednesday morning. Morinville was the only municipality of the 87 Alberta communities in the report that charges equal mill rates for residential and commercial. The same report cites Sturgeon County as the highest in the Capital Region with commercial property owners paying $2.82 for every $1 residential owners pay. The CFIB report goes on to say Edmonton closely follows Sturgeon County at a commercial/residential tax gap of 2.75. Calgary sits at a 3.81 gap between residential and commercial.
The CFIB Property Tax Gap Report shows commercial property owners pay, on average, almost two and a half times more than a residential owner pays, based on the same assessed value of property. The business advocacy organization says their findings come as Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson evaluates draft Municipal Government Act (MGA) regulations.
“Entrepreneurs are fed up with high property taxes. Shifting taxes onto business owners to cover excessive municipal spending is unacceptable,” said Amber Ruddy, Director of Provincial Affairs, Alberta, in the release.
“As candidates gear up for the municipal election, entrepreneurs will be looking at policy platforms to see where their local representatives stand on issues of fundamental property tax fairness. Those running for council should get on the record and let local small business owners know their intentions for addressing commercial versus residential tax mix.”
The CFIB recommends some tax gap reduction measures to municipalities: limiting the scope of government to core services, aligning public sector wages salaries and benefits to their private sector equivalents, and contracting out services where appropriate.
They also call on the province and municipalities to cap commercial-to-residential rates at a maximum of 2:1.
The full report is online at http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/article/9600-alberta-entrepreneurs-deserve-property-tax-fairness-in-2017.html