County tax increase lower than anticipated

By Stephen Dafoe

Sturgeon County – County rate payers can expect a slightly lower increase to their 2011 tax bill than originally anticipated. When Sturgeon County Council passed the 2011 budget in December of 2010, it was based on a 6.2 per cent tax increase; however an increase in the number and value of Sturgeon County’s assessments has enabled that figure to be reduced to a 5.89 per cent increase.

Sturgeon County expects to raise $36,886,538 in total property tax revenue in 2011, an increase of $2,623,816 over 2010 revenues. Of that amount, $25,387,500 will be raised from general municipal property taxes.

The additional value of assessments, which came in higher than anticipated, will allow Sturgeon County to fund $400,000 in local road improvements from taxes, rather than take the funds from financial reserves as had been the plan when the budget was passed last December.

Although the changes in assessment allows the county to lower the tax increase by almost half a percent, additional tax requisition will increase the end number to about a six per cent increase.

Sturgeon County also collects requisitions for education taxes and the Sturgeon Foundation, the latter of whom operate the area’s seniors’ facilities. The education requisition has increased 4.1 per cent in 2011; the Sturgeon Foundation’s requisition by approximately 60 per cent.

School requisitions will include $124,574 for the Elk Island Catholic Separate Regional Division No. 41, $10,744,302 to the Alberta School Foundation Fund. Additionally, Sturgeon County will likely receive a requisition from the Cardiff Roman Catholic Separate School Division. The Sturgeon Foundation’s 2011 requisition represents $427,154, an increase of $161,875 over 2010 figures.

County Council gave unanimous second reading to the tax rate bylaw Tuesday morning; however, Mayor Don Rigney cast the lone opposing vote on third reading.

Combined tax / assessment notices are scheduled to be mailed in late May with taxes due June 30.

Approved Rates

Rates approved in the bylaw are as follows:

General

.0090090 Non-Residential / M&E
.0031185 Residential
.0073106 Farmland
.0031185 Residential Vacant Reduced
.0050431 Residential Vacant

Education Requisition

.0023901 Residential / Farmland
.0040783 Non-Residential

Sturgeon Foundation Requisition

.0000954 All properties

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