Skip to content

Town of Barrhead mill rate to increase by two per cent

Residential property owners can expect a $15 increase, for non-residential a $28 bump for every $100,000 in assessment
Town of Barrhead corporate service director Jennifer Mantay walked councillors through the 2024 version of the property tax bylaw during the April 9 council meeting.

BARRHEAD - When Town of Barrhead property owners receive their property tax notices, they may notice an increase.

That is because, at least in part, councillors approved a two per cent tax increase when they passed the property tax bylaw in three straight readings.

In early January, council approved the final 2024 operating and capital budgets, which incorporated the increase as per council's instruction.

However, corporate services director Jennifer Mantay could not finalize the mill rate at the time, as the municipality needed the still-to-be-released final assessment value when it finalized the 2024 operating and capital budgets. Mantay said that since the budget, the province released the assessment information, adding that for residential properties, it was $20 million higher than in 2022, with about 72 per cent being for residential assessment and 28 per cent for non-residential.

Under the province's Municipal Government Act, the mill rate is approved separately as part of the Property Tax Bylaw despite being an integral part of the budget process.

Mantay noted the increase would amount to an additional $212,000 in municipal property tax revenue, roughly $65,000 higher than estimated in the final 2024 budget, with the difference being the higher-than-expected provincial assessment.

She recommended that the municipality put the extra funds into the capital reserve fund.

Although she recognized town ratepayers might not appreciate the increase, it was less than many other communities, saying the municipality polled 17 other Alberta communities that have already set their 2024 mill rates and Barrhead compared favourably, noting only the Town of Didsbury had a smaller increase of 1.6 per cent. The average increase was 4.5 per cent.

In the Town&Country This Week's readership area, the Town of Athabasca mill rate is expected to go up by three per cent, as councillors gave first reading to their property tax bylaw on April 2, with second and third readings slated for April 16, while the Town of Westlock's mill rate went up 3.9 per cent.

As for what the increase will mean to the municipal tax portion of their tax bill, Mantay said about 55 per cent of residential properties will see an increase of up to $100. In comparison, roughly 33 per cent of homeowners will see an increase of between $100 and $200, with 26 properties seeing a decrease. 

On the non-residential side, about 44 per cent of properties will see an increase of between $50 and $200, with 45 per cent seeing a decrease.

The increase applies only to the municipal portion of residents' tax bills. Other portions of a tax bill, such as the school and designated industrial requisitions, are set by the province. The social housing requisition is set by the Barrhead and District Social Housing Association (BDSHA).

For the school requisition, the school tax that municipalities collect on behalf of the province, Mantay said ratepayers would see a slight decrease of $8,82 for residential properties and $7.34 properties per every $100,000 of assessed value.

Mantay said this is due to the higher provincial assessment values.

For the BDSHA requisition, property owners will see a $9.36 increase per $100,000 of assessment for residential and non-residential properties.

Mantay noted five communities contribute to the BDSHA: the two Barrhead municipalities, Woodlands County, Swan Hills and Lac Ste. Anne County. The town's portion of the requisition is $111,956, up from $60,450 in 2023.

"According to the Alberta Housing Act, [BDSHA] can requisition for the full amount of their previous year's deficit, which was just under $845,000," she said.

Mantay added that the association has requisitioned roughly $260,000 annually from the municipalities for over a decade.

"That was quite low compared to their annual deficits," she said. "This year, they are trying to bring it up to what they feel is realistic and are requisitioning $500,000 between the five municipalities, which is still lower than what they are entitled to do."

Mantay also said ratepayers would see a minimal increase of 19 cents and a decrease of $2.17 on every $100,000 of assessment for its designated industrial sites (properties being used for TV, electricity, telecommunications, cable and natural gas) and for the Barrhead Regional Aquatics Centre respectively.

"When everything is taken into account, for residential, it means an extra $15.73 and non-residential $28.64 for every $100,000 of assessment," she said.

Mayor Dave McKenzie said he was impressed that council and municipal staff could keep the increase to two per cent given the inflationary pressures.

"You can see how challenging it was when you look at some of the other increases happening in the province," he said.

Barry Kerton,

Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks