By Jensen, Randy on May 25, 2020.
LETHBRIDGE HERALD -COALDALE
Coaldale Town Council recently approved a zero per cent change to the residential tax rate, marking the second consecutive year of no residential tax increases in the Town of Coaldale. In fact, because the property values increased on average in 2019, the Town’s tax rate will actually decrease in 2020 in order to adjust for inflation, the Town said in a news release.
The zero per cent net change in the municipal tax portion was made possible largely because the Town has eliminated various organizational and operational inefficiencies, effectively giving council the flexibility needed to hold the line on taxes.
“Finding these inefficiencies has given us the flexibility to maintain our commitment of fiscal responsibility while moving forward with ambitious capital projects and continuing to provide essential services to residents,” said Mayor Kim Craig. “We’ve committed to running a very efficient operation, and our comparative analysis with other municipalities shows that we are succeeding in meeting that commitment.”
Additionally, town council has decided to eliminate the previously anticipated two per cent increase on non-residential properties this year. This decision was made to help businesses overcome the economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The town said this will also ensure that Coaldale’s business community remains in an enviable position, with a tax rate that is approximately half that of neighbouring Lethbridge.
“We hope that in approving the zero per cent changes in both residential and non-residential taxes, the financial burden many are experiencing during this time will be lessened,” said Craig. “Council is striving to provide ongoing support to businesses through the economic relaunch and keeping our taxes low is part of that strategy.”
The assessment for property growth rates in Coaldale were higher than anticipated based on last year’s figures, leaving council with a surplus of $58,856. The money will be put towards offsetting the costs from COVID-19 relief measures previously approved by council.