County of Wetaskiwin looking at drop in linear taxes of $1.3 million

County of Wetaskiwin council read more sobering news when it comes to linear assessment, or pipeline infrastructure, and how it will...

County of Wetaskiwin No.10

County of Wetaskiwin council read more sobering news when it comes to linear assessment, or pipeline infrastructure, and how it will affect tax revenue during their regular meeting Jan. 10.

Council’s agenda item stated, “At the November 1, 2016 General Council meeting Council directed Administration to send a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs outlining the impact that the amendments to the linear assessment modifiers have had on the County of Wetaskiwin’s municipal operations over the past two years.

“The requested letter was sent out on November 15, 2016. Correspondence was received back from the Minister of Municipal Affairs on December 16, 2016 acknowledging the letter and the concerns stated within.”

“On December 19, 2016 additional information was received from Alberta Municipal Affairs that provided an estimate of the County of Wetaskiwin’s 2016 linear property assessment. This was calculated using the new assessment year modifiers as well as the reported property changes that were submitted before October 31. As the reporting period closes on December 31, 2016 there will some unreported changes that will not be reflected in this estimate.”

“Alberta Municipal Affairs have estimated that the linear property assessment will change by -14.96 per cent when compared to the 2015 assessment. It is expected that this will result in a decrease of $93,185,120 in linear property assessment. The impact of this change will be a decrease of $1,322,968.00 in municipal tax revenue.”

“The final linear assessment values should be available at the end of January and will reflect these estimated amounts as well as any additional property changes reported between October 31, 2016 and December 31, 2016.”

County CAO Frank Coutney later said in a phone interview this reduction will have an impact on the municipality. He also noted that the municipality is still working to understand what effect, if any, the new carbon tax will have on operations.

Council accepted the report for information.

Board appointment

As council read unfinished business items, a vacant seat on the subdivision development appeal board was discussed.

“At the Council General meeting held December 20th, 2016 Council discussed appointments required for the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) that represents Mr. William (Bill) Mojelski and Mr. Everett Matiko’s appointments that expired December 31, 2016,” stated the agenda item.

“Both SDAB members were advised they could re-apply. Mr. Mojelski advised he was not seeking re-appointment and Mr. Matiko was re-appointed or a three-year term effective January 1st, 2017 to December 31st, 2019.

“Other applications were received to fill Mr. Mojelski’s three year term. One of the applicants advised he is working out of the County and will not have time for the SDAB. Mr. Tim Hoogland is the other applicant and administration conducted an interview to discuss the Land Use Bylaw and other related acts/bylaws.”

Administration recommended Hoogland be appointed to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board for a three year term effective January 1st, 2017 to December 31st, 2019. Council unanimously approved it.

Sports Hall of Fame

Council’s agenda noted, “A letter was received from Mr. Don McMillan and Mr. Dale Palmer, Directors of the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame advising that the 2017 Annual Banquet is being held on March 25th, 2017 at the Best Western Banquet Hall. The event begins with cocktails at 5 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6:30 p.m.

“There have been many County residents inducted into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame since it first began in 2005. The County has annually supported the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame by submitting an advertisement in their program and by purchasing tickets for Council Members who are able to attend. Sponsorship has been provided as a budgeted item under “Advertising”.” Council unanimously agreed to keep supporting the hall of fame.

Changing boundaries?

Electoral boundaries were briefly discussed during council’s new business. “A letter dated December 12th, 2016 was received from the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission advising in 2017 they will be reviewing the boundaries and names of the 87 electoral constituencies in the province, in accordance with legal requirements, including those set out in the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act,” stated council’s agenda. “The results of this review will impact votes in future provincial elections.”

Council decided to table discussion until dates and times of public consultations are available.