April 15th, 2020 ~ Vol. 90 No. 15
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Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
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Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council from left tor right: Councillors Marlene Anctil, Dave Filipuzzi, Doreen Glavin, Mayor Blair Painter, Councillors Lisa Sygutek, Gordon Lundy and Dean Ward.
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
Property Tax Rate Bylaw – 2nd and 3rd Reading

The annual property tax rate bylaw sets out the assessed property values by class and calculates the tax rates required to raise budgeted tax revenue in accordance with property tax policies. The amount of tax revenue required to balance the 2020 budget was presented and approved by Council on December 11, 2019. Bylaw 1048, 2020 - Property Tax Rate Bylaw was presented to Council on March 31, 2020 and received first reading amending the tax increase to one (1) percent. The proposed bylaw will authorize Administration to levy the 2020 Municipal taxes, Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF), and the Designated Industrial Property (DIP) requisitions. The 2020 Property Tax Rate Bylaw has been prepared including a one (1) percent increase over and above the increase in assessment value between 2019 and 2020 as directed by Council. The annual bylaw sets out the assessed property values by class and calculates the tax rates required to raise budgeted tax revenue in accordance with property tax policies. The Municipality collects enough property taxes to satisfy Council's approved budget requirements.
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In preparing the 2020 budget, no 83 contingencies were accounted for, such as the Provincial Government downloading policing costs, the Provincial Government only paying 50 percent of the grants in place of taxes (GIPOT), potential union contract settlement and Senior Housing additional budget ask. Also, during 2020 budget discussions Council and Administration could not have anticipated lost revenues and increased expenses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Municipality's assessor (Benchmark Assessment Consultants) has provided the assessment values used to calculate the proposed tax rates for 2020. The total assessed base for 2020 is $990,608,070 (2019 was $943,621,710) for a net increase of $46,986,360. The increase can be attributed to new properties being added, re-evaluations due to sales, site visits identifying additions to properties, changes in classifications and a complete review of surrounding acreages in Bellevue, Hillcrest and Frank. The additional taxes generated by the increase in assessment is $248,075. The additional 1% increase recommended by Administration would raise an additional $83,084. The $248,075 in tax dollars generated from the increase in assessment value less $97,760 for the Province only paying 50% of their taxes, results in a net increase in taxes of $150,315 which is insufficient to meet the approved 2020 budget. With a 1 percent increase, it will generate an excess of $63,368 revenue that could be added to a reserve for costs associated with Covid-19 (lost revenue and added costs), or the additional policing cost the Province will be billing on January 1, 2021 in the amount of $124,526. The Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) for 2020 is $2,611,840. The Designated Industrial Property (DIP) 2020 requisition amount is $4,540. The Senior Housing request for 2020 has been included as part of the Municipal Tax amount for the amount of $376,039 to be paid out as a grant.
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Chamber of Commerce Municipal Funding Request

The Chamber of Commerce has reached out to the Municipality to request assistance to continue their operations after receiving a number of funding shortfalls this year. If funding is not received, they will likely have to layoff their part-time staff and there will be no support they can offer to businesses during this pandemic. Currently, Administration has been working with the Chamber to see who will take the lead on various supports for businesses such as the Updated Store Hours (Chamber) or Useful Information Links Webpage (Municipality). The Chamber has asked council for $20,000 to help keep them going this year. During discussion, Councillor Glavin said that while she is willing to support the Chamber, she would like to see a budget of where that money would go before providing the Chamber with the $20,000. After further discussion, Councillor Ward made a motion that council provide the chamber with a subsidy of $5,000 at this point, request that the Chamber provide further financial information including a budget for 2020 and that a meeting could be set up between Administration and the Chamber to find out the direction moving forward. The motion was carried.
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April 15th, 2020 ~ Vol. 90 No. 15
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