Tuesday, December 15, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 50 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“There’s not a piece of land in this Pass that’s not worth $500.”
- Councillor Ian MacLeod  
- on implementing a   
minimum property tax   


Some owners of vacant property in the Crowsnest Pass may soon find themselves paying a little more in property taxes, as council is looking seriously at the possibility of implementing a minimum property tax.
At their December 8 Committee of the Whole meeting, council discussed several details of the 2010 municipal budget (see page 3 for a story on these other details). One such detail was the possibility of raising more tax dollars through placing a minimum amount on local property taxes.
Currently, said Finance Director Marion Vanoni, the municipality charges a minimum of $25 for property taxes, which is likely not even worth the cost of producing the bill. If the municipality were to increase that minimum to $500, she said, it would generate approximately $250,000 to $300,000 in additional revenues.
What this means is that any property with property taxes lower than $500 would see those taxes rise to $500, to meet the minimum. The exact minimum is at council's discretion, and they may choose a lower number.
Vanoni said that people who own vacant properties adjacent to their own can avoid the minimum tax bump by consolidating the properties into a single title. Any property with taxes higher than the minimum would be unaffected by the change.
She noted that other communities generally charge between $500 and $1000 as a minimum tax.
Councillor Ian MacLeod said he was in favour of the notion. "There's not a piece of land in this Pass that's not worth $500," he said.
Mayor John Irwin noted that if council implemented the minimum tax in January, property owners would have plenty of time to consolidate their adjacent properties if they wished before the tax deadline in the summer.
... for the full story, see the December 15 issue of the Pass Herald.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 50 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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