There are no big changes for municipal taxes in Meadow Lake this year.
As set out in the 2018 budget, the tax rate bylaw includes a 1.9 per cent overall increase to municipal taxes. However, the education mill rates, set by the province, are unchanged from last year. There is also no change to the long-term care levy. It has been in place since 2013 to help fund a special reserve for the forthcoming facility, which equates to $125 per residence or unit.
Mayor Gary Vidal said this is a positive thing compared to last year, when a revaluation year had council reassessing the tax formula set out in the 2017 budget. He said it impacted residents in ways council could not control.
“Those [years] can throw some kind of wrenches into what we’re trying to accomplish,” he said. “We did a fair amount of work last year to adjust it, and to take out some of the implications of the revaluation process. The impact is going to be very nominal [this year] for most people.”
In 2015, city council created a property taxation policy. The base tax, which ensures all properties receive or have access and pay equally for city services, is set at 40 per cent of the tax levy this year. A base tax adds a greater level of stability to tax rates during revaluation years where property assessments may shift dramatically, Vidal added.
“This is the last step in the process where we have what we believe to be a fair and equitable process,” he said. “We’re at the end of that journey. That will have a slight shift on some taxpayers’ bills, but overall most people are not going to see some drastic changes. Some people will see small increases, and the way some of this stuff shifts, some may see a decrease.”
Assessments have already been sent out and can be appealed up until May 11. Tax notices are not expected to be mailed out until after the assessment roll closes on the same day.
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