Rocky View County (RVC) property taxes will be three per cent lower than last year and five per cent less than originally planned.
The county is also giving property owners two months longer to pay their taxes without penalty. County taxes can be paid as late as Aug. 31 without penalty. Normally a 12 per cent penalty kicks on July 1.
Yesterday, the county council agreed to take action to provide some relief for residential and commercial property owners.
“Given the challenges presented by COVID-19, and the impacts of historically low energy prices, council wanted to make a substantial statement in our 2020 budget and property taxes," says Reeve Greg Boehlke. "This is one way we can help every single one of our residents and businesses deal with the current situation."
Council had originally planned for a two per cent tax increase in 2020. Instead, it took funds out of surplus to reduce taxes.
Reeve Boehlke says the county’s strong financial situation allows for such a move, and he commends council and administration for making the downward adjustment possible.
“You very often hear talk about preparing for a ‘rainy day,’ and we’re there right now. Rocky View County has a long history of good financial management by council and our administration, and that gives us the ability to make this unprecedented tax reduction,” he says.
Boehlke also believes they will find cost savings through the course of the year.
He believes economic recovery will be slow, and governments will need to change the way they conduct business. He doesn't believe the current level of borrowing is sustainable.
"I'm a real advocate of tightening our belts. There's going to have to be some initiatives that we're going to have to look at. I think non-essential frills are going to be gone."
"All governments are going to have to look at ways to save money."
Council will approve the 2020 tax rate bylaw at its May 12, 2020 meeting, which will allow the county to send property tax bills.
While the overall average tax bill will drop by three per cent, individual property taxes may go up or down by a different amount depending on any increases or decreases to the property’s assessed value.