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Town council passes annual bylaw for multi-family properties

Once again, the Town of Bonnyville’s council has passed an annual bylaw to allow for the division of residential assessment classes, creating the Single Family Residential and Multi-Family Residential assessment sub-classes for taxation purposes.
File photo.

BONNYVILLE – Town of Bonnyville council once again established its Residential Assessment and Supplementary Assessment Sub-Class Bylaw for 2024 on Sept. 12. 

The bylaw, which has been passed annually since 2019, separates residential assessment properties into two categories, Single Family Residential and Multi-Family Residential. 

“The rationale behind creating a residential sub-class for multi-family properties is based on the fluctuation of the assessments year over year as the economy fluctuates,” explained Renee Stoyles, the General Manager of Corporate Services for the Town of Bonnyville. 

“Multi-family assessments are based on the valuation using an Income Approach. With fluctuations in the economy in the Lakeland area, the income and resulting assessment of these properties moves up and down significantly resulting in large tax dollar changes for these properties if no mill rate adjustment is made.” 

The theory behind the Income Approach is that income-producing properties are bought and sold based on their income-earning potential.   

“It is an estimate of what a potential purchaser would pay for the property given its expected rate of return (income-producing potential),” Stoyles explained to Lakeland This Week. 

By creating a residential subclass for multi-family properties, council has the option of adjusting the mill rate separately for this subclass to lessen these fluctuations, said Stoyles. 

The Town defines multi-family residential property as all residential property other than single family residential property. 

This means all boarding houses with more than three sleeping rooms are considered multi-family property as well as a manufactured home community. 

This also includes vacant residential property zoned for the development of four or more dwelling units under the Town’s Land Use Bylaw. The municipality defines a dwelling unit as one or more rooms operated or capable of being operated as a residence for a household containing cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities. 

However, this does not include a registered condominium plan intended for the development of a residential unit to be occupied by a single family. 

Section 285 of the Municipal Government Act requires that each municipality must prepare assessment annually, which is why the Residential Assessment and Supplementary Assessment Sub-Class Bylaw comes before council each year. 

Council gave all three readings to the bylaw during the Sept. 12 regular council meeting. 

Jazmin Tremblay

About the Author: Jazmin Tremblay

Jazmin completed a minor in journalism at Hanze University in the Netherlands and completed her Communication Studies degree from MacEwan University with a major in journalism.
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