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MD of Bighorn sets 2024 municipal tax rate

The MD approved the tax rate bylaw at its June 11 council meeting, with $11.93 million required in municipal taxes and education and seniors’ levies.

MD OF BIGHORN – Property owners in the MD of Bighorn will be getting their tax bills for 2024.

MD council approved the tax rate bylaw at its June 11 council meeting, with $11.93 million required in municipal taxes and education and seniors’ levies.

A residential home assessed at $825,000 will see its monthly taxes increase by $35.98, which comes after residential property assessments across the municipality rose by an average of about 10 per cent. Total tax bills include education and seniors’ foundation levies, where the monthly change set by the municipality is $14.48.

A home valued at $825,000 in 2024 will see an annual increase of $431.80 on tax bills, with $173.79 of that set by the MD. For a non-residential property valued at $1 million, a 10 per cent property assessment increase is an additional $1,304 in annual taxes.

Reeve Lisa Rosvold asked administration for a breakdown of residential property assessment changes in each of the MD’s hamlets.

Since this information was not made available, she questioned councillors to share how their residential assessments may have changed. She said her home in Dead Man’s Flats, for example, experienced an increase close to 20 per cent.

Coun. Jen Smith, who represents Exshaw in Ward 1, said she did see an increase, but not to the same effect as in 2022 to 2023.

“I didn’t see the same substantial jump this year,” she said.

Couns. Alice James and Rick Tuza, representing Wards 3 and 4, respectively, which includes the West Jumpingpound region south of the Trans-Canada Highway and West of Highway 68, and lands in between the Bow and Ghost rivers, as well as the hamlet of Benchlands and MD land north of the Ghost River, said they also saw increases.

“I don’t think it was that high,” said James of the average 10 per cent jump. “But I would say that would probably be close to in tune to my property.”

Tuza said there were “substantial” increases to many properties in the Benchlands area.

“Some were quite high. So, I did encourage our residents to contact their assessor if they thought their assessments were too high.”

Property assessment appeals closed April 29.

Council approved the 2024 budget last December, with an operating budget of $8.05 million. Municipal tax is collected using a 17.5 per cent residential to 82.5 per cent non-residential split.

The municipal tax rate levy for residential is up 1.86 per cent and 7.061 per cent for non-residential from 2023.

Education tax is collected by the province and added to property owners’ tax bills and adds up to $1.8 million from residential and $1.75 from non-residential, for a total of $3.5 million, which is up about $500,000 from 2023.

The total tax requisition for the Seniors’ Foundation is $269,271 for 2024, up from $251,307 last year, with the amount determined by Bow Valley Regional Housing.

Tax notices are being sent out the week of June 17 and due to the delayed preparation of tax notices, the payment due date is extended to July 31.

Unpaid taxes will have an added penalty of nine per cent on Aug. 1. An additional nine per cent penalty will be added to any unpaid taxes on Jan. 1, 2025, with a reminder sent in October.

The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. The position covers Îyârhe (Stoney) Nakoda First Nation and Kananaskis Country.

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