Kneehill County residents may see an increase on their tax bills in 2022, which comes at them from a few different sources. County council approved the 2022 tax rate bylaw at their April 26 regular meeting. ECA Review/FileStu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published 09:00 May 08, 2022

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Kneehill County residents will see an increase on their tax bills in 2022, which comes at them from a few different sources. 

County council approved the 2022 tax rate bylaw at their April 26 regular meeting.

The 2022 tax rate bylaw was presented to councillors by Caroline Siverson, property tax officer, and Marika von Mirbach, financial planning coordinator.

Von Mirbach reiterated the agenda memo by stating that, “The annual budget determines the total amount of taxes to be levied on residents and businesses of the community for the budget year. 

“The 2022 operating and capital budget was passed at the March 22, 2022, council meeting and requires that $24,011,496 be collected from ratepayers to maintain the municipality’s operations.”

While the staff presentation didn’t specifically identify any percentage increase to tax rates, it was noted Kneehill County property owners taxes were increasing but the exact amount is dependent on property zoning and market factors.

“The individual impact on each ratepayer will be dependent on the change in assessment which their property experienced during the last year. 

“The typical hamlet home (assessed at $100,000) will see a $26 annual increase, acreage homes (assessed at $300,000) will see an increase of $79 annually and farmland (quarter section) will see an increase of $47 annually,” von Mirbach noted from the agenda memo.

“Industry will also see a proportional increase in their annual taxes based on their change in assessment. The new assessed values will be detailed on the combined assessment/tax notices.”

During discussion von Mirbach noted the 2022 budget was “constrained” and Kneehill County saw revenue issues related to provincial government policy decisions. 

She noted residents would see “…some moderate increases” in some tax rates.

It was also noted at the meeting the county also collects requisitions for other governments and organizations, the largest of which was the provincial government’s education tax. 

“The requisition for school purposes has increased by $163,790 or 3.2 per cent from 2021 for a total requisition of $5,330,788 in 2022 compared to $5,166,998 in 2021,” stated the agenda memo. von Mirbach also noted the Kneehill Housing Corporation and Dip Requisition were both down slightly from last year.

Reeve Jerry Wittstock stated councillors and staff spent a lot of time working on the 2022 budget.

There was no other discussion about the 2022 tax rate bylaw.  Councillors unanimously passed all readings of the 2022 tax rate bylaw to bring it into effect.

Special bylaws

Councillors also approved several special tax bylaws related to specific places. Local improvement bylaws were all passed for Grainger, Selkirk and Sunnyslope.

Lastly, councillors also approved the Trochu recreation levy.

Financial statements

Councillors unanimously approved the 2021 audited financial statements after a presentation by representatives of BDO, the county’s official auditor.

It was noted in the auditor’s report that BDO gave Kneehill County’s 2021 statement a “…clean audit.”

Later, as councillors discussed the financial statements, von Mirbach said, “The county is in a good financial position.”

This item reprinted with permission from East Central Alberta Review, Coronation, Alberta