On May 12th, City Council set the tax rate, for residential and commercial properties, at their regular meeting. Originally, it was believed the tax rate would not be set until later in the month, however, council was able to go through three readings and pass the tax rate.
Mayor of Cold Lake Craig Copeland says council was presented with several options, “what actually happened is administration brought forth various options for council to review for setting the mill rates.” Much like other municipalities in The Lakeland Copeland says, “we had a significant increase in assessments for residential and multi-family properties, and a little bit for commercial.” Municipal taxes are determined by multiplying a city’s set mill rate by the assessed value of a property. Properties are assessed in the summer of the previous year, in the case July of 2014.
Mayor of Cold Lake Craig Copeland says there will be a small increase, “the average resident in Cold Lake will experience a 1.3% residential municipal tax increase.” Copeland says commercial will be faced with, “basically the same increase.” Residential property owners will have a slightly higher increase than the 1.3% from The City, explains Copeland, “when you add on the education portion, which The Province makes and the municipality collects, that increase is quite large this year.” “Overall, when people get their tax notice there should be around a 3% increase.”
Council was initially expecting a much higher increase in taxes due to the fact that property values throughout the city increased quite significantly. “This is largely a result of development and upgrades to the city.” says Copeland. The tax notices will go out earlier than expected says Copeland, who credits the earlier-than-expected release to City staff, “our staff for The City has done such a great job over the years bringing forward the way we describe the information.” Referring to the assessments, property value, mill rates and the impact these have on residents, says Copeland, “there’s so much information there it was easy for Council to make a decision.” Hence, why City Council was able to go through three readings and pass the tax rate for Cold Lake.