Tax bills will be in the mail no later than May 30 for the 2023 property rates set by Cochrane town council last night (May 8).
Municipal taxes will be rising 3.86 per cent. Based upon an average single-family assessed at $561,200, that amounts to an additional $96 for the year. When you add the increase in education and Rocky View Foundation requisitions, the total tax increase is $143, or 3.85 per cent.
The town's 2023 budget calls for expenditures of $74,310,285 and revenues and transfers from all sources are estimated to be $39,139,915. The difference between the two -- $35,170,370 -- will be collected in property taxes.
Revenue from property taxes will remain at an 85-15 split between residential and commercial property. The split has been the same since 2018.
Alvin Allim, newly-hired town director of financial and information technology services, said Cochrane's tax rate for both residential and non-residential properties compares favorably to a shortlist of seven other municipalities.
"I think Cochrane's in a great place," said Allim. "Out of this list, we are the second lowest in our municipal tax rate, which is very favourable."
That calculation may be skewed, though, since the 2022 tax rates were used for all but one of the municipalities on the list.
The increase is substantially less than the 9.85 per cent tax increase last year in municipal taxes when the town found itself playing catch up, following a series of budgets with nominal or no increases that did not keep up with the costs or needs of the community. When factoring in support for education and the Rocky View Foundation, the average property tax rate for single-family homes was $3,715 in 2022, reflecting an overall 6.75 per cent hike.
Allim also presented both the community revitalization levy (CRL) tax rate for properties within the boundaries of the 25.3 hectares (62.5 acres) section of downtown, which is largely known as The Quarry. The tax rate is the same, but the town has the added benefit of utilizing the education portion of taxes for the completion of approved projects within the CRL.
The CRL was announced to have been recently renewed, although was originally a 20-year agreement made with the province in 2012. It was an initiative led by the administration of Mayor Truper McBride.
In March, town council approved water and wastewater rate increases that averaged a combined total of $6.77 monthly or $81.24 per annum.
All Cochrane property taxes are due on or before June 30 without financial penalty.