Wood Buffalo residential property owners will receive up to $5.1 million in 2016 provincial education property tax forgiveness following confirmation of support to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo by the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
"We are pleased that the Government of Alberta has agreed to provide this much-needed support to RMWB residents," said Mayor Melissa Blake. "We appreciate the Province's continued assistance as we navigate the impacts of the 2016 wildfire and work towards long-term recovery."
The Municipality requested partial forgiveness of the 2016 provincial education property tax following a unanimous Council resolution on August 30, 2016. The decision followed a recommendation of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) and featured 2016 tax relief measures in support of residents affected by the impact of the wildfire of May, 2016.
“This is welcome news for our most affected residents in recovery and we thank Council for its unanimous support of our recommendation to deliver and pursue support for the community,” said Jeanette Bancarz, Chair of the WBRC. “I’d also like to thank my fellow WBRC colleagues, the Recovery Task Force and municipal employees for their efforts toward this resolution as we continue to support our neighbours, families and friends in recovery.”
The Municipality has yet to determine how the $5.1 in provincial education property tax forgiveness will be administered to residents. It will be based on the criteria outlined in Council’s resolution on 2016 residential taxation relief passed on August 30, 2016.
Every year, the Municipality collects the provincial education property tax on behalf of the Province. In 2016, Wood Buffalo residents contributed $80 million towards the provincial education property tax.