In accordance with the ministerial order issued by the Minister of Energy, the AER has created new requirements for licensees with unpaid municipal property taxes.
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) announced the new requirements
for companies with unpaid municipal property taxes, which will become effective on May 1, 2023. The requirements are intended to implement the direction that the Minister of Energy provided to the AER in March 2023 through Ministerial Order 043/2023
The requirements will restrict any oil and gas company with collective, provincewide property tax arrears above $20,000 from receiving a new well licence or being involved in a licence transfer. The $20,000 threshold is based on a review of the current licensee information related to unpaid municipal taxes and in consultation with the province.
Municipal Affairs is responsible for compiling and updating a list of companies with arrears in excess of $20,000. To facilitate this process, Municipal Affairs has reached out to rural municipal CAOs with a tax arrears notification form that allows municipalities to provide arrears information to Municipal Affairs on an ongoing basis. It is crucial that municipalities regularly provide this information to ensure the new requirements are properly targeted. Municipal Affairs will accept updated spreadsheets on a quarterly basis (March 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15).
If the applicant is included on the list, it must provide evidence to the AER that the arrears owed have been paid or an alternative arrangement with the municipality has been made prior to any new well or licence transfer being approved. The evidence can either be in the form of a letter signed by a CAO or a valid tax certificate on the municipal letterhead. If evidence is not provided, the well will be closed, or the transfer will be returned to the applicant as incomplete.
This action aligns with the recommendations
made by the RMA in previous reports. The RMA hopes to see continued engagement with municipalities and the AER on this issue.
Manager of Policy & Advocacy