Cold Lake City Council has passed a tax increase that will see, on average, a slightly lower increase in municipal taxes than the 2-per-cent they were expecting when this year’s budget was passed.
The average tax increase will come in at 1.76 per cent to raise the approximately $19.5 million in municipal taxes needed to balance the city’s 2017 budget.
“Council feels this is a fair budget with a modest tax increase, especially considering the City of Cold Lake has seen virtually no increases for the past four years,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “The budget preserves important infrastructure programs while also ensuring recreation, public safety and the future growth of our city receive the attention they deserve.”
During the 2013 election, council vowed not to raise taxes for three years to bring the City of Cold Lake’s taxes in line with those found in similar communities. Council extended that commitment for a fourth year in 2016 as a response to the slowing economy.
Council passed the 2017 Operational Budget, which includes about $59.5 million in spending, in late December of 2016. The operational budget also includes a transfer to the capital budget of $18.5 million.
The residential tax rate is set at 6.7635 while the multi-family residential rate is 7.5114, and the non-residential rate is 11.6995. Tax rates have risen to compensate for property values that have, on average, declined. The tax rate is a factor used per $1,000 of property value to determine the amount of taxes a property is required to pay for municipal services. Thus, a tax rate increase one year does not necessarily mean a property will pay more in taxes than the previous year.
“For years, our tax rates were trending down because property values were on their way up, but now the reverse is true,” Copeland said. “This approach gives the city a stable source of funding and residents a fair and predicable basis on which to plan to pay their property taxes. The average homeowner in Cold Lake can expect to pay 1.7 per cent more than they did last year.”
Properties that have increased or decreased in value beyond the community’s average will see a higher or lower increase, respectively.
In addition to the municipal property taxes, tax bills include school board and seniors’ requisitions, which are levied by the province and collected on the province’s behalf by municipalities.
Tax notices were mailed on May 27 with a June 30 due date. Property owners who have not received their tax notices should contact City Hall.
The City’s 2017 capital and operational budgets are available on www.coldlake.com. Information on historical tax rates and municipal property taxes collected is available in the City’s annual report, also available online.
City of Cold Lake: Tax Rates, Municipal Taxes Collected, and Average Increase/Decrease
in Taxes Per Household 2013-2017
|Residential Tax Rate||Multi-Family Residential Tax Rate||Non-Residential
(Commercial) Tax Rate
|Municipal Taxes Collected||Average Increase/Decrease in Municipal Taxes per household|
|2015||5.4555||5.4555||11.0600||$18.78 million||– 0.8%|
|2013||6.6585||6.6585||11.6880||$17.11 million||– 1.4%|