Friday, April 27, 2012

Money from the people - Clearwater County tax increases

Photo and story by Helge Nome

At its April 24 meeting, the Clearwater Council was asked to approve an 8% increase in taxes on farmland and a 2% increase on residential land. Non residential, machinery and equipment and linear rates increased by 6%.

The only councillor voting against these increases was Earl Graham who managed to stall the process by preventing third reading of the bylaw proposal, as a unanimous decision for three readings in one session is required. Third reading will likely take place at the next regular council meeting on May 8.

The total budget for Clearwater County in 2012 is just over $51 million of which $33 million has to be collected in the form of taxes. Most of these taxes come from the non-residential category ($20.5 million) and only $219 thousand come from the farmland category. Residential taxes come in at $3.8 million.

Another factor that will have an impact on the overall taxes paid by county taxpayers is an increase in the provincial education requisition from $14.6 million to $15.3 million. The county simply collects this money, on behalf of the province, to support public education in the province of Alberta. Clearwater County also supports its seniors in the form of a tax levy of $422 thousand.

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