July 14th, 2024

City council holding the line on property tax increase

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on May 11, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge residents will see an increase on their bills in 2022 after city council on Tuesday gave second and third readings to a bylaw that sets tax rates to be imposed upon property within the city.
Bylaw 6358 also sets the tax rates required to raise requisitions for the Alberta School Foundation, Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Separate Regional School Division 4, the Green Acres Foundation and the designated industrial property requisition. The bylaw also authorizes levying of a supplementary tax on properties completed or occupied in 2022.
But residents whose homes have the typical city value of $285,000 will pay about $23 more than last year because of a change in taxes collected by the province for the education tax and the Green Acres Foundation budget. Residents will also pay more if their property assessment has been changed.
Council is doing what it can to curb increases by maintaining the zero per cent property tax increase.
In 2021, a strong recovery to property values was seen and the 2022 assessment reflects market value as of July 1, 2021, according to the City.
The provincial residential education tax has gone up by 4.84 per cent, which means increases for most ratepayers while the assessment for Green Acres has gone up by 4.36 per cent. This is an increase in the Green Acres budget of about $90,000, money which is needed to adequately fund affordable housing for seniors.
On Dec. 14, 2020, the previous city council approved amendments to the City’s operating budget to lower the municipal tax increase to zero per cent for 2021 and 2022. The 2023-26 operating budget deliberations will be conducted by council in November.
The City says a feeling by some that Lethbridge has the highest property taxes in Alberta is a myth due to the fact a $300,000 home here can’t be compared to one elsewhere in places like Raymond or Calgary, according to a release provided to media.
“The stability of the economy in Lethbridge is a contributing factor in this component. The majority of of the provincial towns and municipalities have seen declines in their assessment base while Lethbridge has stayed relatively constant over the last few years,” says the City.
The City adds that house prices have stayed consistent here and are lower than in most other Alberta communities.

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