Council approves First Reading of Tax Bylaw and moving of due date by two months

by Colin Smith

Morinville homeowners and businesses will see a 2.6% tax increase this year if the 2020 Property Tax Rate Bylaw is passed.

The due date for payment of taxes will be extended from June 30 to August 31 to provide ratepayers with some financial relief during the COVID-19 crisis, if a further Bylaw is approved.

The Bylaws were introduced and received first reading at the April 14 regular meeting of Town Council, held through video conferencing.

The Property Tax Rate Bylaw provides for an increase higher than two per cent rise anticipated in Morinville’s 2020 Operating Budget, passed December 10.

The increase is the result of lower than expected municipal growth, Corporate Services Director Shawna Jason reported to Council.

Real assessment growth for all taxable property was about 1.45%, as opposed to the budgeted two per cent.

For the average homeowner, with an assessment of $332,696 in 2020, taxes will climb $65.67 per year to $3,361.54.

That increase includes rises of $64.14 for municipal taxes, $1.51 for education taxes and two cents for the Homeland Housing requisition for seniors’ facilities.

Commercial property owners, who pay at higher mill rate (1.1 compared to one for homeowners), will see a tax increase of $183.06 to $10,191.28, on an average assessment of $858.697.

For industrial property, also subject to the split mill rate, taxes will total $16,936 this year on an average assessment of $1,426,999, an increase of $304.21.

The municipal tax to be paid by individual ratepayers may vary from the average projected increase due to market adjustments or property improvements.

In 2020, Morinville will collect some $10,397,816 in municipal tax, which makes up 68% of the Town’s tax-supported operating budget.

Property taxes also go toward requisitions. This year those requisitions are $3,643,154 in education taxes, $128,237 for Homeland Security and $923 for Designated Industrial Properties.

The total funds raised from taxes for budgeted expenditures and requisitions will be $14,170,130.

Although the deadline for property owners to pay taxes has been extended from June 30 to August 31, tax notices will be mailed out in May.

On September 1, a 7.5% penalty will apply to accounts in arrears, and current taxes that remain unpaid as of December will be subject to a 9% penalty on January 1, 2021.

“We encourage those who can continue to pay on a monthly basis to do so,” said Jason.

Further information is available on the Town website, www.morinville.ca. Information can also be requested by email at tax-utilities@morinville.ca, phone 780-939-4361 or Fax 780-939-5633.

At the meeting, first reading was also given to the Non-Profit Organizations Tax Exemption Bylaw.

The bylaw provides for non-profit organizations to be exempt from paying tax on property they own. Currently in Morinville there are three organizations that would be covered under the bylaw: Morinville Legion No. 176, for its main building; the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation, for its boarding house; and the Greater St. Albert Catholic School District No. 734, for Morinville Community High School – Day Care.

Additionally, Council moved to defer a tax sale scheduled for April 9 to June 25. The property concerned is Tax Roll #169300, Legal Description: Plan 7923020; Block 27; lot 44.

The sale will take place at the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, St. Germain Place, 10125 100 Avenue at 3 p.m. The reserve bid is $315,000.

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