How can we pay less in taxes?

Did you know that our taxes have only actually gone up 2-3% which would align with the cost of living and population growth?

Did you know that if your property assessment went up then yes your taxes would have went up accordingly but if the value of your house stayed the same, so should have your taxes?

[Prove me wrong if you can because I got this info indirectly from City Hall]

So….. why were your/our taxes HIGHER??

Because the education tax is ADDED on to our bills.  And the last few years history of how it increased looks something like 53%, 8%, 8%, 12%, 12%.  Chestermere, for years was under an education tax protection umbrella that – once we grew to a certain size – the Provincejust released us from, with no notice (thus the 53%).

When you compound the interest increases – this doesn’t work out to a 93% education tax hike BUT rather to a 124% education tax hike.

Add that 12% (education) to your 3% (cost of living/pop. growth) and you get your 15% property tax increase.

Additionally, Chestermere’s non-residential rate has only increased 1.5% over 10 years going from 3% to 4.5%, leaving us the lowest out of all surrounding municipalities (the next ones are 11%, 14%, 16% and 26%).

In 2016 this ratio was 95.5/4.5%.

This all means that you/I are covering the 95.5 which is the residential portion and only 4.5 is being covered by non-residential.

An increase in the non-residential DID occur but nowhere near the amount we required for the appropriate offset.  Our Mayor and Council have already approved a development for new homes and are considering 3 other developments.  The more residential increases and the non-residential does not – equals the more we WILL pay in tax.

Do you know:

  • that non-residential properties pay double the tax that we do as residential
  • non-residential saves the City on amenity planning because they don’t require accommodations like parks/recreation the same way that a home with a family living in it would; and
  • non-residential rates for utilities are also much higher than residential

While our Mayor and Council have made attempts to expand this non-residential portion, they have not been successful to the degree that we need. At what point do we start asking “why”?

Why were they not successful to the degree we need?  Why are companies not seeking out Chestermere for setting up shop?  And whatever those answers are – let’s figure it out and turn it around.  If acting as our own developer is not the best use of our resources, then let’s get an increase in the professionals on board who do this everyday.  Let’s make it inviting for businesses to come here, offer them perks for a period of time – get creative – involve the community – but let’s put a stop to the residents of Chestermere funding everything.

Much discussion needs to occur around the following in order to accomplish expanding this non-residential portion:

  • how to best approach attracting industry, commercial, retail, creative industry (technology), etc..
  • where the best locations we can offer these companies really is
  • how can we market Chestermere in a way that is effective and will heed results
  • what types of businesses would benefit from our assets (close to Calgary, highways, airport, etc..) and our natural resources (lake, geographically flat land which makes for easy building, etc..)

We have been left many ideas on the above from current Council that are presented in the 2017-2020 Economic Development Plan (which you can find online on the city’s website) which at least gives the new council a place to start.