COLD LAKE - Ratepayers in the City of Cold Lake may notice an overall tax rate increase on their tax notices, which were sent out on May 26.
During last week's City of Cold Lake council meeting, council voted to set the 2023 municipal tax rates. The rates result in an average increase of 3.55 per cent.
The Tax Rate Bylaw has come before council and the corporate priorities committee a few times over the past couple of months. The corporate priorities meeting recommended the bylaw be presented for second and third readings as it was presented to council for the first reading, with a slight adjustment due to a change in assessment for a large commercial property, heard council on May 23.
The residential mill rate, also known as the tax rate, was set at 8.4948, which is down from the 2022 rate of 8.7765. The multi-family residential tax rate was set at 9.0819, up from 8.9312. The non-residential mill rate was set at 13.1707, up from 12.7760 in 2022.
The City of Cold Lake has planned for a balanced budget with no deficit.
"These rates will generate about $22.19 million from properties within the city to balance the City’s $54.82 million operational budget. In 2022, the City’s operating budget stood at $52.85 million and the municipality collected $21.37 million in taxes to balance its budget. The 2023 operating budget includes a transfer to capital projects of $6.4 million," according to information from the municipality.
“Inflation was a major factor when it came to this year’s budget deliberations and thus had an effect on where this year’s tax rate would be set,” said Mayor Craig Copeland, after the meeting. “Council kept a balanced and disciplined approach to the budget, which helped keep our tax rate relatively low and saved our residents from a major tax hike.”
During the meeting, Copeland noted the set tax rates will result in everyone paying a share of the increase.
Council passed the 2023 operational budget on Dec. 13, 2022 in the amount of $54.8 million. The City receives $32.6 million from a combination of sales and user charges, government transfers, including ID349 and ICF, penalties, franchise agreements, investment income and rentals.
Taxes are based on assessment, which means a tax rate increase or decrease does not also mean there will be a coordinating increase of decrease to a property owner's taxes.
"Depending on the change in assessment and tax rate, the impact will vary from property to property," according to information from the City..
The City’s total taxable assessment increased by $116.4 million, when compared to 2022. Taxable assessments increased by $13.9 million for new construction and $13.6 million due to inflation.
With tax notices being sent out on Friday, a payment deadline of June 30, 2023 has been set.