The Government of Alberta is considering a change to the assessment model for oil and gas wells and pipelines. While we understand that these changes are intended to enhance the competitiveness of the oil and gas industry, they will have serious ramifications and potentially extreme negative consequences on the sustainability of our municipality and smaller businesses in the industry. If these changes are approved, residents and other commercial property owners will be responsible for subsidizing a property tax break for the oil and gas industry. Changing the assessment model is inequitable and unfair, as it places the entire burden for an industrial tax break onto municipalities, without guaranteeing that savings would be reinvested in Alberta.
The County of Wetaskiwin has written a letter to the Premier expressing our many concerns with these proposed changes. The County will also be mailing all county residents additional information next week to help explain how this could impact them. Please consider adding your voice to this matter.
The Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA), on behalf of all rural municipalities, reviewed the information provided by the Government and analyzed the impacts thoroughly. In response to the proposed changes, RMA issued an Outcomes Summary and a Position Statement. They have also provided a prediction of the impact that each scenario will have on County of Wetaskiwin.
The Provincial Government is accepting input on the proposed assessment models from municipalities and other interested stakeholders until mid August.