The City is increasing its property taxes for 2018 by 11.5 per cent depending on the property’s assessment. For example, if a residential property dropped in value by 4 per cent from last year then the tax increase will be 7.5 per cent.
City Councillor Ken Baker says he hasn’t seen an increase like this in the past 20 years.
“We have a lot of people in this City who can’t afford the tax increase and you can’t pick and choose. I’m always concerned about if we have to raise the taxes much above inflation because salaries aren’t necessarily increasing at the same rate.”
The City saw a 1.6 per cent decrease in taxable assessment from 2017 that contributed to the increase. City Councillor Jonathan Torresan says the tax increase had to happen to guide the City away from using utility revenue to keep taxes low.
“In the past the City has had utility revenues, utility expenses then we’ve used the profits to keep property taxes low. So now we can’t use those profits anymore because we’re going to have to make long term debt payments on our Wastewater Treatment Plant as soon as it’s built.”
Torresan adds that lot sales also helped keep property taxes low, but since they have dried up there is no steady revenue to help with taxes.
This year’s taxes will give the City $30.5 million in municipal taxes and $4.6 million in capital taxes. Compared to other municipalities, Lloydminster sits in the middle to low end of mill rate for 2018 in both Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Residents will see their tax notices mailed out before the end of May and payments are due June 30.