Stettler town council sets 2013 tax rates

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Stettler Town Council approved a 3.0 per cent municipal tax increase for both Residential and Non-Residential properties at the Stettler Town Council meeting held on May 7, 2013.

The increase ensures residents will continue to receive high levels of municipal services and still maintain property taxes consistently below the provincial average for similar sized municipalities. The municipal tax increases fund an operational budget of $14.8 million and is expected to generate $1 million for capital purposes.

The Town of Stettler’s municipal revenues and transfers from all sources other than taxation is estimated at $8.7 million. The balance of $7.1 million is raised by general municipal taxation.

Municipal taxes are the primary component (roughly 2/3) of the annual property tax notice.  The other major component is Education Property Taxes (roughly 1/3) requisitioned by Alberta Education and a small amount for Seniors Housing Support.
Education Property Taxes
The Provincial Government has required Residential properties to generate an additional $33,930 for Education.  Since $24,280 will be generated from new construction only $9,650 will be required from existing properties in 2013 (0.73 per cent increase).  The amount required from Non-Residential properties for Education has increased by $76,800.  However, $89,090 will be generated from new growth allowing $12,290 to be reduced from existing properties in 2013 (-1.89 per cent decrease).

Because the Alberta Education requisition percentage increase varies and is less than the 3.0 per cent increase for the Municipal tax portion, the average increase for Residential property owners will be 2.23 per cent and for Non-Residential 1.48 per cent.  The other variable that determines an individual’s property tax bill is the assessed value.

The Town of Stettler’s property values for 2013 assessment purposes increased by $40.74 million (5.99 per cent) over 2012 including $34.98 million (5.15 per cent) due to new construction growth and $5.76 million (0.84 per cent) due to inflation.

Annual building permits to February 28, 2012 totaled $11 million. As of February 28, 2013, new building permits were just under $1 million.

Completion of Phase 2 of the water and sanitary main improvements on 50 Avenue, between 48 and 47 Street was awarded to the lowest bidder, High Mountain Hoe of Sundre, Alberta for $319,571.

The motion also approved moving $100,000 of excess budget (Phase 2 originally budgeted at $430,000) into asphalt patching. The extra money should enable all 2013 planned asphalt patching areas to be completed.
Crows are a serious problem in many areas of Stettler.  Kevin Duval, Alberta Animal Services and Municipal Enforcement Officer said “although crows and ravens are not considered protected birds, shooting them within 200 metres of a home is unlawful”.  Duval suggests residents pull down crow’s nests and ensure garbage is put out only on collection days.

The eradication of crows and ravens that become nuisances in populated areas is the responsibility of Fish & Wildlife.  Administration will contact Fish & Wildlife to see what can be done about the current crow invasion.

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