Morinville Council livestream above: The budget discussion including a presentation from Chamber President Shawn Thompson starts at 30:18.
by Morinville News Staff
with files from Colin Smith
Municipal taxes will officially increase five per cent for residential property owners and 15 per cent for non-residential property owners under the 2019 Property Tax Bylaw given second and third reading by Morinville Town Council at its April 23 regular meeting.
On the residential side, the 5 per cent increase is one per cent higher than numbers projected in the 2019 municipal budget passed last December.
The Town says the increase to 5 per cent is the result of less than expected real estate value growth in 2019 and diminished assessments.
Owners of a home assessed at $300,000 in 2019, will pay about $104.59 more per year in municipal taxes.
Along with $9,998,847 for Morinville’s operating budget, property owners are also responsible for the education property tax requisition under the School Act, the Homeland Housing requisition and a sum for Designated Industrial Property. These requisitions are collected on behalf of the provincial government and Homeland Housing.
The amount to be raised by property taxes for these purposes totals $13,706,864.68. Total 2019 taxes for an average residential assessment of $300,000 will be $3,000.94 compared to $2,884.21 last year, an overall increase of $116.73.
non-residential taking a larger hike
Prior to Council’s debate on Second and Third Reading, Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce spoke to Council about his members’ concerns on the proposed increases.
Thompson cited raises to minimum wage and the carbon tax as factors already affecting the bottom line of Morinville businesses ahead of the potential shift to a split mill rate.
In recent years, Morinville has been the only community in all of Alberta to have an equalized assessment whereby non-residential property is taxed at the same rate as residential property.
Last October, Council unanimously approved moving off preparing the budget with a split mill rate that would move the ratio from 1:1 to 1:1.1 and rise by .1 each year for five years.
This creates a 10 per cent increase in non-residential assessment, coupled with the 5 per cent increase in taxes across the board.
Assessments will have an impact on final bill
Assessments on improved commercial accounts have increased on average approximately 15 per cent with improved industrial accounts increasing on average approximately seven per cent over the previous year. The assessment increases and decreases can see non-residential commercial property tax bills differing from two per cent to 26 per cent this year.
Morinville’s Chief Financial Officer Shawna Jason told Council that people need to be careful when talking percentages of increase because the average assessment increases are just that – an average and not accross the board.
According to Morinville Administration figures, real growth for all residential property in the town was 1.35 per cent last year and assessments have decreased by 2.32 per cent.
As of December 31, 2018, the assessed value for all Morinville property was $1,313,081,700 for 4,003 properties.
Assessment changes come as a result of market adjustments offset by real property assessment growth, including new properties and real improvements to these properties.
In 2018 real growth for all taxable property, was $40,057,940 – about 1.2 per cent compared to 2.6 per cent in 2017 – and market adjustments decreased by $5,756,280 or 0.4 per cent.
With the Tax bylaw passed, the Town of Morinville will send out tax notices with 2019 property taxes due June 30.