WHEREAS Section 292(2) (a) of the Municipal Government Act states: “Each assessment must reflect the valuation standard set out in the regulations for linear property”; and
WHEREAS the Minister of Municipal Affairs had decided not to implement the adjustment to the assessment year modifier (AYM) reflecting increases for well assessments and for pipeline assessment in 2018 stating no reason other than that the Government of Alberta intends to conduct a rate review sometime in the future; and
WHEREAS this unprecedented action will result in lost revenue for many rural municipalities, create an unfair and unequitable shift in taxation to other assessment classes and result in significant increases to mill rates, for no apparent reason;
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.
It has been brought to the attention of the Council of the Municipal District of Willow Creek No. 26 that the Minister of Municipal Affairs is not going to implement the adjustment to the AYM, which reflects increases for well and pipeline assessment as recommended by the Linear Property Assessment Unit within the Assessment Services Branch of Alberta Municipal Affairs.
The increase in the AYM is based on the recommendations of provincially hired consultants who applied changes based on the ‘ad volarem’ system which is founded on the philosophy that the more value there is in a specific property, the more the property owner is able to pay.
Property assessments are adjusted yearly to reflect increases or decreases in market value, or as in the case of industrial and linear properties, changes in estimated cost to construct or build a specific property. It has been a long standing principle that in times of economic downturn, when the cost of construction and materials drop, the assessment reflects the trend by applying a reduced AYM. In times of economic recovery, which was reflected in the adjustment determined by the consultants, the AYM increase is applied.
The principle of our fair and equitable assessment system is being destroyed. The Minister’s decision to not implement the AYM showing the increase in value will result in shifting the tax burden to residential and commercial ratepayers. There is a case to be made that this action will unfairly undermine the integrity of the provincial assessment system.
RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.