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By Altus Group | May 20, 2020

The following is a summary of our Property Tax Power Breakfast Refill Edition held on May 14th; an update to our April 6th edition.

The Executive Summary from the April 6th Power Breakfast can be found here.

BONUS – the Power Breakfast is now available on-demand:

Saskatchewan (SK)

April 14, 2020 Minister’s Order issued extending assessment review ‘appeal’ period from 30 days to 60 days. The Order can be found at http://www.rm121.com/pdf/ministers-order-assessment-appeals.pdf

In addition, selections of North West municipalities have made requests to oil and gas companies to confirm shut-in wells. While there is no clear commitment or abatement offered, the letters indicate that there is consideration for tax reductions for the oil and gas sector in 2020.

To date, letters have been sent from the Rural Municipalities (RM) of Paynton and the RM of Manitou Lake and we are expecting eight or more similar letters based on various discussions.

There are no province-wide initiatives presently in SK. Ratepayers are encouraged to review tax notices carefully for reduced mill rates, extensions to annual early payment discounts though these opportunities are not expected in all municipalities.

Not-in-service tanks at single well sites has been a topic of significant discussion. Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA) has adjusted the requirements and will be allowing proof of disconnected tanks as qualification for 99% depreciation for the 2021 tax year.

Companies can certify the tanks are out of service but unable to be isolated due to COVID-19 restrictions, as necessary. The state and condition date of July 1, 2020 still applies for changes to take effect for 2021.

 

Alberta (AB)

The Ministerial Order (MO) discussed previously has been adjusted, effective April 17, through the more recent MO #MAG:014/20. This is a major change in that the complaint deadlines occurring after March 31, originally extended to October 1 have all been adjusted to July 1 or within 60 days from the notice of assessment, whichever time is later.

Responses to assessors request for information, to impact the 2021 tax year assessment, has been adjusted to July 1, 2020 or within 60 days from the date of request, whichever time is later.

The MO can be found at: https://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/MinOrders/2020/MunicipalAffairs/2020_MAG014-20_Municipal_Affairs.html

Respecting the AB education tax deferral program announced on March 23rd, after much confusion and misinformation, the province published guidelines for municipalities with recommendations for implementing the deferral:

Approach 1: Defer six-months’ worth of education property tax

Approach 2: Implement a combined municipal and education property tax deferral equivalent to deferring six months’ worth of education tax

The deferral period is to September 30 or later and the provincial communication “recommended” municipalities amend any penalty bylaws stipulating a change for 2020 only.

The government guidelines, issued for the municipalities, can be found at https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/07b5c872-e582-47c5-a4f3-1266af3941fe/resource/9a4f3d2a-58ae-45fc-b56a-3b527b300fa8/download/ma-non-residential-property-tax-deferral-guidelines.pdf

 

What we know now – municipal tax payments

Central AB:

  • Brazeau County: payment date moved 31 days to July 31
  • Clearwater County: payment date adjusted 1.5 months to November 6
  • Ponoka County: payment date moved 6 months to December 31 but early payment discount of 5% on total taxes due (municipal & education) if paid on or before July 31
  • Red Deer County: payment date adjusted 3 months to September 30

Northern AB:

  • Clear Hills County: no incentive or change
  • Mackenzie County: TIPP implemented for non-residential ratepayers, payment date moved 31 days to July 31
  • County of Grande Prairie: overall tax rate decrease of 1.4%, penalty date adjusted to November 1
  • RM of Wood Buffalo: 26% municipal tax decrease

Southern AB (SE):

  • Cypress County: payment date adjusted 15 days to November 30. Municipal tax rate maintained at 2019 level-note this is a correction from the slide deck presented
  • Kneehill County: no incentive or change, municipal tax rate increase 3%
  • Newell County: payment date moved 6 months to December 15 but early payment discount of 8% on municipal portion of taxes due if paid on or before June 15
  • Wheatland County: 1.3% municipal tax rate reduction, payment date moved 2 months to Aug 31

Deep Basin:

  • MD of Greenview: 15% municipal tax reduction, payment date moved 3 months to September 30
  • Saddle Hills County: 10.35% municipal tax discount for payments made by July 31
  • Yellowhead County: 5% municipal tax rate decrease, payment date moved 3.5 months to October 15. Note that Yellowhead has not passed a Well Drilling Equipment Tax (WDET) bylaw in 2020

 

British Columbia (BC)

BC government announced a 50% education tax abatement for Class 4, 5, and 6 on March 23, further abatements for non-residential property classes were presented on April 16:

  • Expected to achieve an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses
  • Classes of property included in the rebate will cover the majority in the energy and industrial sectors:
  • Class 4 (Major Industry), Class 5 (Light Industry), Class 6 (Business and Other), Class 7 (Managed Forest Land), Class 8 (Recreational Property/Non-Profit Organizations)
  • Oil & Gas sector in NE BC is among the property classes that can expect close to a 25% reduction in taxes

Late payment penalties postponed 3 months to October.

The news release from BC Ministry of Finance can be found at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020FIN0020-000703

 

Looking Forward

Altus Group is providing property tax guidance through our webpage and regularly updating the information found here.

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss any of the enclosed materials, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

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