WHEREAS underground storage caverns have been developed (and continue to be developed) in various areas of the province for purposes of storing various gas, petrochemical and petroleum products; AND WHEREAS legal opinions suggest it is not clear whether or not the definition of improvements and property in Sections 284(1) (j) and 284 (1) (r) respectively of the Municipal Government Act includes underground storage caverns; AND WHEREAS like above ground and underground storage tanks, storage caverns add value to the property and would be included in the sale of property;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association Of Municipal Districts & Counties request the Government of Alberta to change the definition of improvements and/or property in Section 284 of the Municipal Government Act to include underground storage caverns.
Above ground and underground storage tanks are included in the definition of an improvement and/or property and are therefore included in the assessment on which property taxes are levied. Although underground storage caverns are used in the same way (have the same utility) as storage tanks, and add value to the property like storage tanks do, they are not assessed and therefore are not subject to a property tax levy.Excluding underground storage caverns from assessment and the resulting property tax levy is unfair and inequitable compared to the assessment and the resulting tax levy on storage tanks.
The AAMDC currently has no resolutions in effect with respect to this issue.
The Municipal Government Act is anticipated to undergo a review in 2010. The AAMDC will continue to emphasize, through formal ministerial meetings as well as future MGA consultations, the importance of this resolution.