+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 2-18F

Annual Release Date of Assessment Year Modifiers

Date:
November 21, 2018
Expiry Date:
December 1, 2021
Active Status:
Active
Sponsors:
Mountain View County
District:
2 - Central
Year:
2018
Convention:
Fall
Category:
Municipal Governance and Finances
Status:
Sent to Government
Vote Results:
Carried
Preamble:

WHEREAS Alberta Municipal Affairs sets the assessment year modifiers at no set timeline; and

WHEREAS the Municipal Government Act requires municipalities to pass a balanced budget; and

WHEREAS many rural municipalities receive significant revenue from linear properties; and

WHEREAS there has been volatility in linear assessment values in recent years; and

WHEREAS other types of funding have become more uncertain and the need for more timely assessment year modifier information has become more critical to ensure realistic budgets; and

WHEREAS municipalities are often required to develop budgets based on assessment year modifier estimates when final modifier figures are not yet available; and

WHEREAS if the final modifier figures vary from the estimates, the municipality’s budget can be significantly impacted; and

WHEREAS many municipalities pass budgets prior to January 1st of the budget year;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta request the Government of Alberta to set the annual date of release of assessment year modifiers at September 15th or the nearest business day afterwards to allow municipalities to be properly informed when making budget decisions.

Member Background:

Assessment year modifiers are mechanisms to adjust the base assessment value of linear and other property types up or down to reflect present costs. Alberta Municipal Affairs sets the assessment year modifiers for valuation on an annual basis. The Minister of Municipal Affairs usually proclaims them in the preceding December of the tax/municipal budget year. Many rural municipalities’ property tax base consists of a large portion of linear tax. This assessment class has experienced large swings and surprises that have made budgeting more difficult especially when the modifiers are released in December. This issue is compounded by the fact that the large swings have been negative in terms of their impacts on assessment and therefore indirectly property tax. 2017’s linear modifiers are an example of this. The Ministry released preliminary numbers indicating a double-digit growth in both pipeline and well head modifiers which are both sub-classes of linear property. However, the modifiers later approved by the Minister were zero. As well, starting with 2019 budgets, there is a new requirement for municipalities to prepare three-year operating statements. Having the information earlier would allow municipalities more time to ensure that they have their revenues in place when passing their balanced budgets.

RMA Background:

1-18S: Request for Implementation of the 2018 Assessment Year Modifier for Well and Pipeline Assessments

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) lobby the Government of Alberta to immediately implement the 2018 assessment year modifier to well and pipeline assessments as identified in the draft calculation.

DEVELOPMENT: RMA has not yet received a government response to this resolution.

Provincial Ministries:
Municipal Affairs
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