WHEREAS the agriculture industry in the province of Alberta is in a state of crisis as a result of drought, BSE, insect infestation, depressed commodity prices, etc.;AND WHEREAS the price received for commodities produced by the provinces agricultural producers is set by global markets that are influenced by factors which cannot be controlled by local producers;AND WHEREAS agricultural producers are unable to pass on increased costs incurred in the production and sale of their products;AND WHEREAS global trading and food distribution practices are based on principles of least-cost alternatives;AND WHEREAS the future of the Alberta agriculture industry depends upon their ability to control production costs;AND WHEREAS education taxes that are levied against Alberta farmland fund a people-based service on the backs of our primary food producers who must compete against producers who are heavily subsidized by other governments;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties reiterate to the Government of Alberta the urgent need to eliminate or zero rate education property taxes levied against farmland throughout the province of Alberta.
In the early 1990s the Government of Alberta zero rated the machinery and equipment assessment class for education tax purposes. The rationale for doing so was to stimulate growth and investment throughout the province by creating an economic environment that would attract new investment.As a result of depressed global commodity markets, drought, insect infestation, BSE etc., Albertas agricultural producers are fighting for their survival. The elimination of education property taxes levied against farmland will reduce costs incurred in the production of food and enhance the ability of the primary agriculture industry to survive in a competitive global marketplace.