WHEREAS Red Deer County wishes to maintain equity and stability within the property assessment system;AND WHEREAS recent Municipal Government Board decisions have rendered privately leased and operated provincial campgrounds as being exempt from property taxation;AND WHEREAS privately and municipally owned campgrounds which are leased to private operators remain subject to property taxation;AND WHEREAS all campgrounds within the Province are not currently being operated based upon a level playing field with respect to property taxation;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that Alberta Municipal Affairs bring forward legislative amendments to ensure that all campgrounds being privately operated within the province are assessed and taxed in a fair and equitable manner.
Over the last several years, it has become the view of Red Deer County that privately operated provincial campgrounds have been receiving an unfair taxation advantage over privately owned campgrounds within the Province of Alberta. Under current legislation, in order for privately operated provincial campgrounds to be considered taxable, the properties have to be held under a lease, licence or permit from the Crown. The Provincial Government has entered into an operating agreement with all of the private operators of the provincially owned campgrounds. The recent Municipal Government Board Orders (102/99 – Pigeon Lake; 04/98 – Thunder Lake Provincial Park; 462/00 – Jarvis Bay Provincial Park; 193/99 – Kananaskis Improvement District) have ruled that an operating agreement is not considered to be a lease, license or permit, and therefore the operator is not subject to assessment and taxation. The Improvement District of Kananaskis challenged the Board’s decision to the Court of Queens Bench. The Department of Municipal Affairs had believed that the Municipal Government Board’s decision might be reversed, and therefore made no change to the current legislation. However, the Court of Queens Bench ruled in favour of the Municipal Government Board and upheld the Board’s decision. In Red Deer County, we have two major privately operated provincial campgrounds, one being Jarvis Bay Provincial Park (Sylvan Lake) and the other being Red Lodge Park (west of Bowden). There are numerous privately owned and operated campgrounds within our municipality, the largest ones being Green Acres and Leisure Campground located at Pine Lake and Dickson Leisure Campgrounds on Glenifer Lake. Red Deer County considers that there is an inequity in the system whereby privately operated provincially owned campgrounds are not subject to assessment and taxation. Therefore, we are requesting that the Department of Municipal Affairs consider legislative changes that will level the playing field between privately operated provincial campgrounds and privately owned campgrounds so that all camping facilities may be assessed and taxed equitably. Red Deer County requests that AAMD&C members support Red Deer County’s resolution requesting that the Provincial Government make amendments to the legislation in order to rectify this situation.
The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to this issue.