Town of Stettler keeps 2022 business license, pet fees unchanged

Stettler town council will keep 2022 business licenses, dog and cat tags and the professional business tax at their current rates. 

The decisions were made at the Nov. 23 regular meeting of council.

The first item on the agenda was the business license fees for 2022. These are the fees businesses pay to conduct their operations within the Town of Stettler.

Councillors read a report prepared by staff member Roxann Anderson which noted the town currently has 445 commercial business licenses active in 2021 which is up from 423 last year, plus 42 home-based businesses (down from 58 last year) and 50 non-resident business licenses (down from 73 a year ago). 

Residents pay $150 per year for a business license, while non-residents pay $350.

Anderson’s report predicted if councillors keep the rates the same as 2021, business license fees will generate $90,550 and added that the last time business licenses were increased was in 2013.

Anderson also included rates from other Alberta municipalities for comparison purposes, including resident/non-resident fees: Ponoka ($100/$250), Lacombe ($147/$412), Bonnyville ($200/$400), Westlock ($100/$200), Devon ($100/$250), Olds ($125/$225), Wainwright ($100/$200), Red Deer ($111.60/$433.90), Camrose ($150/$300) and Peace River ($150/$300).

During discussion town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Greg Switenky stated all the funds generated by business licenses go toward supporting the Stettler Regional Board of Trade.

Councillors unanimously approved the staff recommendation that business license fees remain at the 2021 levels for the upcoming year.

Furry friends

Councillors also kept the annual cat and dog license fees the same as their 2021 rates. 

In a report also written by Anderson it was noted rates were set through bylaws in 2014 and haven’t been increased since.

Anderson provided some 2021 information on the cats and dogs in Stettler: there were 44 unaltered dogs and 673 altered dogs which were licensed while there were zero unaltered cats and 287 altered cats. 

Potential revenue for 2022 if fees were kept at 2021 levels was predicted to be $26,200.

She also included some fee information from other Alberta communities and only St. Paul had generally lower cat and dog license fees than the Town of Stettler. 

Stettler’s license fees fell almost exactly at the average point and it was noted that the Town of Stettler offers a discount to the cat and dog license fees for people who pay early in 2022..

The staff recommendation was to keep cat and dog license fees for the upcoming year at their 2021 levels. 

CAO Switenky stated now is not the time for the town to be considering increasing rates. 

Councillors unanimously approved the recommendation.

Business tax

Councillors also decided to keep the Town of Stettler’s business tax fee at 2021 levels. 

Switenky explained this fee is essentially a business license which is only applied to professions.

A staff report prepared by Rachel Morbeck noted that the number of business tax fees paid over the past three years has dropped slightly: in 2019 there were 44, in 2020 there were 43 and in 2021 there were 41. Based on 2021 business tax fees paid, the town is projecting $6,150 in revenue from this tax fee.

Staff recommended the 2022 business tax fee stay at the same amount as 2021 and councillors unanimously passed a bylaw to that effect.

 

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.