Wetaskiwin County council is throwing its support behind the Alberta Assessors Association in opposing the creation of a central agency that would prepare industrial assessments for municipalities.
At council’s April 5 meeting councillors approved sending a letter to Danielle Larivee, Alberta minister of municipal affairs, stating its position of opposition.
Back in 1995 Alberta decentralized the assessment process and since then has had one of the most decentralized frameworks of the Canadian provinces, says a County of Wetaskiwin issue summary report presented at the meeting.
However, during the recent review of the Municipal Government Act some stakeholders expressed concern of a lack of consistency with assessments under the decentralized model.
They feel industrial property is not formally defined and is comprised of various property types assessed in different ways by two authorities; legislation, regulations and guidelines can be interpreted subjectively, assessors sometimes run into trouble with a lack of resources and uncooperative property owners, and there is not formal training program for industrial property assessors.
“Right now we’re not exactly sure what direction they’re going to go with it,” said Rene Boutin, county director of assessment.
He added if Alberta Municipal Affairs does reinstate a centralized process the county has concerns the organization will have difficulty completing the process.
The Alberta Assessors Association is encouraging the regionalization of assessment services.