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2016 Wildfire Tax Relief Program

On Aug. 30, 2016, Council passed a motion under Section 347 of the Municipal Government cancelling a portion of the Municipal tax for residential properties for the 2016 tax year due to the wildfire. This was a recommendation from the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee.

At the end of September, the Municipality is sending letters to RMWB residential property owners who were on title on May 3, 2016, informing them of the amount of cancelled taxes they are entitled to under this program.

Residential property tax accounts that have not been paid in full will have a credit applied to their accounts.

Residential property tax accounts receiving less than $10 will not receive a letter — a credit will automatically be applied to the individual account. These accounts are for small pieces of property.

If you are enrolled in the Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP), the credit will be applied to your account and payments will be recalculated effective Jan. 1, 2017 to reflect a revised monthly payment.

Taxpayer accounts entitled to more than $10 that have been paid in full have two options:

  • Leave the credit on your account. It will go towards your 2017 Property Tax bill. This requires no action from you.
  • Complete and submit a Request for Refund Form . The form may be submitted by email to assessment.taxation@rmwb.ca, by mail or in-person at the following address:
    3rd floor, 9909 Franklin Ave.
    Fort McMurray AB
    T9H 2K4

Please be advised that a refund will take four to six weeks to be processed after the Municipality receives the form.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Assessment and Taxation at 780-743-7900 or assessment.taxation@rmwb.ca.

FAQs

How do I know if I qualified for wildfire tax relief?

All residential property owners, excluding vacant land, in the RMWB are entitled to a tax credit. You will receive a letter in the mail about your specific credit, unless your account is entitled to less than $10.

How much am I entitled to under this program?

RMWB residential properties

All owners of residential properties, excluding vacant land, in the Municipality will be credited 1/12 of the 2016 municipal property tax amount that was originally levied against their property.

Residential properties in Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways (ABW)

All residential properties that were located in a restricted area (ABW) and not allowed to be re-occupied at re-entry during the first week of June due to recommendations by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will be credited an amount representing the municipal portion of property taxes for the length of time that the property was not allowed to be re-occupied. This is in addition to 1/12 of the amount that was originally levied against their property.

For example, owners of residences included in the Phase 1 re-entry of Abasand and Beacon Hill were permitted to re-occupy their residences on Aug. 31. These property owners will be credited for municipal property taxes up to Aug. 31, 2016.

Destroyed residential properties

Owners of destroyed or irreparably damaged residential properties will be credited an amount representing the municipal portion of property taxes from June 1 until either the completion of reconstruction of the residence, or Dec. 31, 2016, whichever occurs first. They will also be credited 1/12 of their taxes.

My property was destroyed or damaged and I have not received my letter.

If your home was damaged or is located in a restricted area, please ensure that you have arranged to have your mail forwarded to your current address.

I haven’t received my tax notice in the mail. How can I get another copy of it?

If you don’t receive your tax notice by Oct. 24, please contact Assessment and Taxation at assessment.taxation@rmwb.ca or 780-743-7900 to receive a reprint.

I wasn’t evacuated in May. Will I still receive wildfire tax relief?

Yes, all residential property owners, excluding vacant land, will receive wildfire tax relief.

I own a business in Wood Buffalo. Do I qualify for this program?

No, the Wildfire Tax Relief program is only available for residential property owners.

My bank pays my property taxes. Will I receive a letter?

Yes, you as the property owner will receive the Wildfire Tax Relief letter.

Does the Wildfire Tax Relief Program include relief for other portions of my property tax bill?

The Wildfire Tax Relief Program provides relief for the municipal portion of property taxes.

On Aug. 30, Council approved a motion to request that the Government of Alberta remove the education tax to be consistent with the cancelled portion of municipal property taxes.

I sold my property after May 3. Will I receive a letter?

Administration is currently investigating municipal property tax relief options for properties that have been sold.

When are taxes due this year?

As voted by Council on May 31, there will be no penalties on outstanding 2016 property taxes until Jan. 1, 2017. Under the Municipal Government Act, all property owners are obligated to pay their property taxes, including those whose properties were damaged.

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