Here are the highlights from the April 20, 2023, Sturgeon County Council Meeting:
Resource Extraction Bylaw Amendments
Council passed Bylaw 1608/22, which repeals the Calahoo-Villeneuve Sand and Gravel Extraction Area Structure Plan Bylaw 922/01. The Calahoo-Villeneuve area was the only region to have an area structure plan despite resource extraction taking place in other areas of the County, and the bylaw, which was approved over 20 years ago, was no longer practical or applicable.
Council also postponed consideration of Bylaw 1607/22 to a future Council meeting to allow Administration to further review feedback from residents and other stakeholders.
Administration will also be working on a groundwater monitoring policy and with appropriate management plans for Council consideration at a later date.
Tax Rate Bylaw
Council passed Bylaw 1625/23 – the 2023 Taxation Rates Bylaw, which establishes the property tax rates for Sturgeon County property owners. The bylaw includes a tax rate increase of 2.9 per cent for 2023, which equates to an increase of $53.37 per year (or $4.45 per month for people on the TIPP program) for residential property owners with a home valued at $496,000.
The 2.9 per cent increase is lower than the 3.9 percent projected in December 2022. Council was able to reduce the increase due to favourable assessment changes since the budget was passed. Council noted there were several budget challenges this year, including added costs due to high inflation and the costs associated with the new rural policing funding model.
With the tax rates now set, Administration will be preparing the property tax notices for mailing by May 18, 2023. The notices will also include the Province of Alberta education requisition, which is approximately $56.00 more than in 2022. This rate is set by the Province of Alberta and collected by Sturgeon County on the Province’s behalf.
The seniors requisition was lower for 2023, and the average homeowner will see a decrease of approximately $1.00. The seniors requisition amount is established by Homeland Housing and collected by Sturgeon County on their behalf.
Property taxes are due June 30, 2023, and can be paid in person, drop off box, mail, automated or in-person banking, or third-party payment processor (e.g. credit card). Sturgeon County continues to encourage people to take advantage of the Tax Instalment Payment Plan (TIPP), which allows the property owner to pay monthly rather than in one lump sum. More information on TIPP can be found on the Sturgeon County website.
Next Council Meeting
The next Sturgeon County Council meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. on April 25, 2023. Future agendas and past meeting minutes can be found online.