WHEREAS the Provincial Government currently provides the Seniors of Alberta with an education property tax assistance program which provides an annual rebate to assist senior homeowners with increases in the education tax portion of their property taxes; and WHEREAS Alberta’s rapid growth in the economy has substantially increased the market value of properties, thus increasing the assessment values of these properties for the purpose of Municipal Taxation; and WHEREAS the cost of rental accommodations has also increased substantially as a result of the rapid growth in Alberta’s economy; and WHEREAS Alberta municipalities are legislated to assess properties based on market value, and Alberta municipalities are facing substantial increases in operating and capital costs as a result of the rapid growth in Alberta’s economy therefore limiting municipal property tax rate reductions that can be passed directly down to property owners;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) lobby the Provincial Government to amend the assistance program for Alberta’s Seniors to provide increased funding to offset the rapidly increasing costs of property taxes and rent on Seniors’ property and rental accommodations in order to keep as many seniors as possible in their own homes and to lessen the burden on Seniors’ Housing facilities, now and in the future.
At one time, the Provincial Government provided Alberta’s Senior Citizens with direct financial assistance for property taxes and rental of residential accommodation. This program was discontinued in the early 1990’s when the Province amended its Seniors’ Assistance Programs and in 2004, the Province implemented the Senior’s Education Property Tax Assistance Program.During the next ten years Alberta’s economy grew at a reasonable rate and property taxation and residential rental rates were relative to inflation as well as to the growth of the economy.During the last 2 to 3 years, Alberta’s economy has grown at a very rapid rate, increasing property values and rental rates far beyond normal inflationary rates, resulting in substantially higher property taxation and residential rental rates. Many of Alberta’s seniors are on fixed incomes and as a result they are facing a financial burden with respect to these costs and the Education Property Tax Assistance Program is not providing the Seniors with any substantial assistance.
Resolution 1-07S: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that the Government of Alberta amend the Alberta Capital Finance Authority Act to add Seniors’ Housing Authorities as shareholders of the Alberta Capital Finance Authority.Resolution 31-05F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to amend Section 7(2) of the Alberta Housing Act to change the basis of determination for municipal requisitions to a percentage-based system with 50% determined by population and 50% determined by equalized assessment.In addition, the AAMDC was recent asked to appear before the cross-party Standing Policy Committee on Managing Growth Pressures to provide recommendations on supporting affordable housing initiatives in rural Alberta. A number of recommendations provided to the Government of Alberta focused on increasing financial resources for seniors and seniors’ support service providers.
In response to the Alberta Affordable Housing Task Force, the Direct Rent Supplement Program was introducted to assist eligible renters, including seniors, with their rental costs. The program is delivered through local management bodies located throughout the province, who provide funding directly to tenants so they can remain in their current accommodation. The province also introduced the Homeless and Eviction Prevention Fund which provides assistance to households with limited resources who might lose their homes due to rent increases or arrears. Recipients of this funding can also use it towards establishing a place to live.