Proposed Sylvan Lake tax rate increase to make up for decreased property values

Proposed Sylvan Lake tax rate increase to make up for decreased property values

The Town says residents can actually expect to pay less, despite the tax percentage increase

Sylvan Lake is increasing the tax rate for residents, but says the amount homeowners will pay will actually be a bit less.

Darren Moore, director of finance with the Town, says the increase in the tax per cent is to make up what is expected to be a decrease in property values in 2020.

At the budget open house on Dec. 10, Moore explained the amount a home owner pays in taxes is based on the property value of the home. The more expensive the home the higher the yearly taxes that are owed to the Town.

However this year, Moore said a three per cent decrease is expected on property values in Sylvan Lake. To make up for the shortfall this would create, the tax per cent will increase 2.88 per cent.

“We know how much money we need to keep our operational costs balanced, and this will keep it at the same level,” Moore said.

There is still room to change the tax rate in the spring of 2020, depending on how property values in town change.

Moore said if property values increase or stay the same, the tax rate will be decreased to ensure property owners are not paying more.

“We aren’t trying to make money off anyone,” Moore said.

According to the Town, a homeowner who’s property was valued at $350,000 in 2019 will actually end up paying roughly $4 less in taxes in 2020.

Before the budget meetings began in November, the Town performed a Community Satisfaction Survey to measure the “quality of municipal services” as well as the satisfaction of those services.

It showed the majority of those surveyed, 53 per cent, would prefer to see taxes increase by inflation to maintain services.

Joanne Gaudet, communications coordinator with the Town of Sylvan Lake, says that is exactly what is happening with this budget.

“We are maintaining our services to residents, without making any major cuts to services,” Gaudet said.

Gaudet recommends checking out the Property Tax and Assessment Calculator available to residents on the Town’s website

The calculator will give residents an idea of what their payment will be for 2020, once the property value assessments have come in. Those are expected to become available by the end of February.

“We also have the option of monthly payments through TIPP [Tax Installation Payment Plan],” said Gaudet.

Further to the tax rate increase, the 2020 budget is not proposing any additional increases for residents.

For 2020 the Town of Sylvan Lake is not proposing any utility rate increases, franchise fees increases, nor will there be increases on the transportation or recreation levies.

There is also no increase proposed for the non-residential tax rate, which has only been increased twice in the last seven years.

The 2020 budget focuses on offering more year-round events in Sylvan Lake, to increase traffic in the shoulder and winter seasons.

Another focus of the budget is enhancing snow removal services for residents as well as more online options to connect with the Town.

The operational budget is proposed to be $37,086,537 for 2020, and the capital budget is expected to be $16,811,000.

Town Council is expected to approve the budget at the Jan. 13 meeting of council.

Residents can submit their comments on the 2020 budget to

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta now has 17,743 active cases of COVID-19

Province now has 17,743 active cases

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Community Christmas Eve Dinner cancelled

The 20th anniversary of the Community Christmas Eve dinner is cancelled amidst COVID-19 concerns

The consensus around the Sylvan Lake council chamber Wednesday was the town does not have the ability to properly enforce a proposed mandatory indoor mask bylaw. File Photo
Sylvan Lake town council squashes mask bylaw

The bylaw did not make it past first reading, after a 4-3 vote defeated the motion

Sylvan Lake RCMP are looking for the identity of the suspect who stole from over 40 resident mail boxes. (Photo Courtesy of Sylvan Lake RCMP)
Over 40 mailboxes broken into at Sylvan Lake apartment building

Sylvan Lake RCMP are investigating the incident and searching for the identity of the suspect

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Most Read