Municipalities get relief on uncollectable tax

Minister Anderson announces the Provincial Education Requisition Credit Program at the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties conference. – GOA Photo

by Morinville News Staff

Municipalities collect education property taxes on behalf of the province through their municipal property tax system. Oil and gas facilities are taxed until there is an abandoned status on the records of the Alberta Energy Regulator. Once abandoned, no assessment is prepared. This government says this process can take several years during which the municipality is required to remit education property tax.

The Alberta government announced Wednesday it is supporting municipalities by providing a tax credit for uncollectable education property taxes on oil and gas properties.

“I heard loud and clear during my visits to rural communities this summer that they are facing tax recovery challenges,” said Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “So we made this a priority and worked with the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties to come up with this solution. I am proud that we are able to make a difference and support municipalities.”

The Provincial Education Requisition Credit, or PERC, will be retroactive to 2015, when oil prices began to fall. It will operate for five years, until 2019.

Municipalities that have written off the municipal property tax for oil and gas facilities will be eligible to apply for a credit on the education component of their property tax.

Al Kemmere, president of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, said his organization is very appreciative of Minister Anderson and his cabinet colleagues for listening to municipalities about the tax challenge.

:Having to pay education tax to the government that couldn’t be collected has created significant financial challenges for our members,” Kemmere said. “With the government’s support, municipalities can now focus on other matters, as we look forward to the long term solution to this issue.”

Program guidelines and application forms are available at municipalaffairs.alberta.ca. The first deadline for applications is January 15, 2018.

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