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Council Approves 2017 Tax Rate Bylaw

(Fort McMurray, AB – May 17, 2017) – Council has approved the 2017 Property Tax Rate Bylaw, decreasing the rural non-residential tax rate by two per cent and maintaining all other tax rates at their 2016 levels. 

“Our assessment base is reduced this year due to the economic climate and the 2016 wildfire,” said Philip Schofield, regional assessor, Assessment and Taxation. “Despite this, the Municipality was able to maintain and reduce tax rates through a program of fiscal management and assessment appeal reductions in the rural non-residential tax class.”

Under the Municipal Government Act, all property owners are obligated to pay their property taxes, including those whose properties were damaged by wildfire. Tax notices will be mailed in May. Property taxes are due by June 30, 2017.

The 2017 Property Tax Rate Bylaw establishes the rates at which different property classes are taxed and is calculated based on the total assessment value of properties within each property class. This bylaw is essential for completing the work set out in the approved operating and capital budgets. 

The approved 2017 operating and capital budgets focus on core infrastructure and services while addressing the changes that have impacted the entire region. Using the principles of zero-based budgeting, Council passed a motion to reduce the 2017 operating budget by $47 million in March. 

Provincial Education Tax
This year, the provincial education tax levy increased by 11 per cent for residential properties and 12 per cent for non-residential properties. 

The Municipality collects the provincial education tax on behalf of the Province. The Municipality does not have control over the amount of the provincial education levy. 

Wildfire Tax Relief
On March 28, 2017, Council approved a motion to cancel the municipal portion of the 2017 property tax for residential properties destroyed or irreparably damaged during last year’s wildfire. 

The Government of Alberta also committed to providing $5.1 million to cover the 2016 provincial education tax and $2 million to cover the 2017 provincial education tax for these same properties. 

As a result, owners of property destroyed or irreparably damaged by the wildfire will see both provincial and municipal credits on their tax notices. 

For more detailed information, please visit rmwb.ca/taxes

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