Notley cuts down early UCP proposal that could cost rural taxpayers

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Collectively, rural municipalities would lose more than $290 million in 2021 alone under the industry-supported scenario, according to the RMA’s analysis.

The NDP modelled what those revenue losses could mean for the average homeowner in five rural municipalities. In the first year of potential changes to the mill rate, households in Northern Sunrise County could see a yearly added property tax cost of $9,519, those in the municipal district of Taber an annual increase of $2,286, Newel County would see a tax hike of $5,848, Cypress County would increase $5,743 and households in the County of Wetaskiwin would pay $1,359 more property tax.

Notley said the provincial government and federal government could cushion the loss of tax revenue from oil and gas companies in the short term, and then have a transparent conversation with municipalities to come up with a solution to a complex crisis.

In its August news release, RMA president Al Kemmere said the association is concerned benefits would go to large companies over small companies that would reinvest savings locally.

Notley said the government can’t keep recycling the same economic recipe and expect different results.

“Simply handing money over to large out-of-province companies with the hope, and the crossed fingers, that that money will somehow trickle down to Albertans in the form of some jobs maybe being protected — but we don’t know for sure — is outdated thinking,” said Notley.

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