Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)

Province and rural municipalities agree on a plan to support Alberta’s energy industry

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with a plan to support the energy industry without taking away substantial tax revenue from rural municipalities.

Tracy Allard, Minister of Municipal Affairs, said she ditched a previous proposal that would have drastically decreased industrial taxation to rural municipalities.

After consulting with many counties across the province, Allard found it was not sustainable to have some of these rural municipalities face revenue drops of up to 20 per cent.

Instead of giving oil and gas companies an across-the-board break on paying property taxes in order to boost exploration and ultimately jobs, Allard announced another plan that she said would create only a three per cent, or $7 million, revenue reduction.

Under Allard’s new plan, industries would get a “tax holiday” for three years when drilling new wells and building new pipelines. The government will also eliminate the well-drilling equipment tax province-wide for new drills.

As well, there will be lower assessments for less productive oil and gas wells and a continuation of the recently introduced 35 per cent assessment reduction on shallow gas wells for three years.

Allard said these measures will provide much-needed certainty to industry, investors, municipalities and other taxpayers.

The government, meanwhile, has three years to come up with a longer-term plan that will help the energy industry without creating undue hardship for municipalities.

“Alberta needs to be as competitive as possible to attract investment into our communities,” added the minister. “We know our municipal partners are committed to do their part to create jobs and support Albertans through this challenging economic time.”

While some municipalities have complained of experiencing funding reductions while more responsibilities are downloaded on their shoulders, Allard said state of the provincial economy is everybody’s business. “We all face these challenges. Every elected leader today has to do more with less…”

Paula Law, Reeve of Lacombe County, said this new plan is much more palatable as the old one would have resulted in at least a $2 million revenue loss for her municipality.

She’s pleased the minister has consulted with municipalities, and looks forward to being part of a long-term solution “that works for everybody” — boosting Alberta’s oil and gas industries while keeping rural municipalities sustainable.

Al Kemmere, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta, said counties and municipal districts can live with the new plan. It “reflects an effort to achieve a fair balance between enhancing oil and gas industry competitiveness and supporting municipal viability.”

Kemmere appreciates Allard’s efforts to understand how important the current tax assessment model is to supporting tinfrastructure and operations.

Tim McMillan, president and CEO, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, is also pleased with this three-year solution, saying that the Alberta government’s action “to incent new drilling and provide relief to mature wells is a crucial step to help restore investor confidence and preserve and create jobs for Albertans. “

He said he looks forward to working with municipalities and the province for a longer term plan “to rebuild our energy industry and bring prosperity back to Alberta.”

Just Posted

Patrons rip around a corner on the go-kart course at Lakeshore Go-Karts and Mini-Golf. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake go-kart and mini golf course reopens after fire

Last August the outdoor facility was shut down after a fire burned through much of the business

(File photo from The Canadian Press)
Red Deer down to 66 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer has lowest number of active cases since last November

A small selection of shoes line a step at the Municipal Government Building in Sylvan Lake, with each pair representing a vicitm of residential schools in Canada. Tracey Greinke placed the first pair of shoes on the steps, hoping more would follow. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake woman sets up small memorial for residential school victims

Tracey Grienke placed a pair of moccasins on the steps of town hall, and a few more followed

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Left handed pitcher Evan Wilde started the game for Sylvan Lake and allowed four runs in the 12-10 extra-innings loss against the Edmonton Prospects on Sunday in Western Canadian Baseball League play. (Photos by Byron Hacket/Blakc Press News Media)
Historic opening weekend for Sylvan Lake Gulls

The Gulls finished the opening weekend with one win and two losses

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

A pair of Alberta residents were arrested after police responded to a report of a woman who had allegedly been assaulted and confined against her will on June 20, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP arrest 2 Albertans suspected in alleged assault, unlawful confinement

Firearms, stolen items seized including NHL hockey cards believed to be worth thousands

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

Most Read