Municipal Affairs moves toward centralized industrial assessment

Provincial governent looks at three year centeralization plan

Municipalities across the province will be seeing changes to the industrial assessment model as the Government of Alberta works to centralize the assessment of designated industrial property.

“Right now the industrial assessment is done locally by each individual municipality,” said County of Wetaskiwin CAO Frank Coutney.

However, Coutney says the province is not ready to roll out the new model as a shortage of assessors has put the project behind schedule. In the meantime, municipalities are being asked enter contracts that will have them at the assessments status quo, working as they have been for the last number of years.

Coutney says individualized assessment of industrial property has been done by municipalities for at least the last 10 years or longer.

“The problem is they’re going to have to find all these assessors,” said Coutney, referring to the Government of Alberta.

Linear assessment has been done by the province for a number of years. Coutney says it would be too difficult to ensure consistent assessment methods by a variety of municipalities, as linear assessment infrastructure stretches across the province into the jurisdiction of different municipalities.

However, municipalities have, in the past, voiced concerns over linear assessment rates and the damages lost revenue can cause to municipal budgets.

When asked if the County of Wetaskiwin had similar concerns over the centralization of designated industrial assessment property Coutney said without any model in place yet it may be too soon to tell.

“I think the future will tell a little bit more (of) how this will work; if there will be any swings in value,” said Coutney.

Municipal affairs is moving toward a centralized model to reduce the administrative burden for municipalities and industrial property owners.

“It will also help bring consistency to the way industrial plants are assessed, creating a fairer system for all parties,” states a email sent to the Pipestone Flyer from the Office of the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

“Albertans deserve a fair, predictable and efficient tax structure and that includes industrial property taxes. We’ve had many conversations with stakeholders who have told us there were too many inconsistencies in assessment across the province. This may be due to subjective interpretations of assessment rules and guidelines,” it continued.

The move to centralized assessments are part of the Municipal Government Act review.

Over the next three years, the provincial government will move to centralize assessment of designated industrial properties, including: wells, pipelines, electric power, telecommunications and cable, railways, and major industrial plants. These properties are generally regulated by the Alberta Energy Regulator, Alberta Utilities Commission, or the National Energy Board.

Editors note: The online version of this story includes information from the Office of the Minister of Municipal affairs that was not available by press time and will not be found in the story published in the Oct. 26 edition of the Pipestone Flyer.

Just Posted

Planning request in County of Wetaskiwin changed at last minute

County of Wetaskiwin council balks at changes that weren’t made public

MLA Smith meets Harper, Scheer at Calgary Stampede

Thorsby alumnus Chad Harden competes at the big rodeo

Letter: P.M. needs to do real work

Wetaskiwin writer says apologizing isn’t a job

Breton RCMP seek motorist who may have witnessed crime

Breton RCMP requesting public assistance in identifying suspects of break and enter

County of Wetaskiwin officers deal with large road ban violations

County CPO notices erratic driver in Wetaskiwin

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

Vintage vehicle subject of RCMP search

Two Hills RCMP seek to identify owner of recovered 1940’s vehicle

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

The plan would allow for more visitors but wouldn’t let Sunshine build additional facilities

Publication ban lifted on details about Fredericton shooting that killed 4

Judge lifts publication ban on court documents related to the Fredericton shooting

Feds to allow charities to engage in political, but not partisan, activity

The plan is to allow charities to pursue political activities

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

Canadian officials have insisted they’re unfazed by being left out of the discussions

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault on the job

Toronto photographer says he was attacked while covering a protest

Most Read