The Government of Alberta is currently considering changes to the assessment model for regulated properties such as oil and gas wells and pipelines. This change would severely impact the bottom lines of rural municipalities across Alberta.
If the Province moves forward with its proposed overhaul to the provincial rate assessment model, rural municipalities - including the MD of Lesser Slave River - would be forced to balance their budgets through steep residential tax hikes or deep cuts to municipal services. Visit the CBC Edmonton website for an informative article on this provincial plan and the devastating impacts that would result.
Although the Government of Alberta has not yet finalized changes, the MD is aware of four options currently being considered. Depending on the option selected, the changes will reduce the overall assessed value of oil and gas property in rural Alberta by between $8.9 billion and $26.7 billion and result in rural municipalities losing a combined total of between $108.7 million and $291.2 million in property tax revenue in the first year in which the changes are implemented.
These proposed changes will impact not only the MD and the services it provides to residents and business owners, but the entire region.
The MD, just like its municipal neighbours across Alberta, are proud supporters and partners of the oil and gas industry. However, it is the MD's position that rural Alberta must be part of the solution to industry competitiveness, rather than have be forced to absorb the Province's crippling changes to the assessment model.
The MD will post further information on this critical and contentious issue as it becomes available.