2017 Tax Notices mailed out

    Tax notices for residents detailing the 2.3 per cent increase in the 2017 tax requirement were sent out by the City of Chestermere last month.
    This tax increase means that on average for a $500,000 house the annual increase this year is $175.
    “Of that, $60 is property taxes and the 115 is the education portion,” said City of Chestermere Controller Brenda Hewko.
    Hewko feels it’s important that people remember that not all of the tax bill goes to the city’s coffers.
    Since the tax is just referred to as property tax it can be easy to forget that not all of it goes to the city she said.
    “Definitely the smaller portion is going to the city this year,” she said.
    While the city is responsible for collecting the entirety of the property tax they have no influence over the other portions and simply pass them on to the province and to school boards.
    Along with their tax bill, long-time residents will notice some changes to how the assessment looks, changes meant to make the bills easier to read and understand.
    “It’s about continually improving,” said Hewko.
    “And with that we want to improve our education level to our residents,” she said.
    The back of the notice which details the different methods of paying available to residents has been reformatted.
    There is also a new insert which details the breakdown of the tax bill.
    “The insert lays out where your taxes are,” said Hewko.
    “So what percentage goes to municipal taxes verses provincial verses the WID service fee,” she said.
    The city is also emphasizing the tax requirement that the city needs as opposed to the mill rate or the assessed value.
    This has been done because the tax requirement is controlled by the city and is a little easier for tax payers to understand.
    “This is what comes out of people’s bank accounts,” said Hewko who hopes people will take the time to read through the inserts and educate themselves about their taxes.
    Hewko said that the better-informed people are the more they can understand why the city is proceeding with certain projects.
    “It’s nice when you get a bill to know what you are paying for,” said Communications Team Lead Megan Matthies.
    The information included in the tax notice inserts is also available online at www.chestermere.ca.
    Some other changes that the city has made this year that should help tax payers plan their family budgets includes the city’s multi-year budget and for those who pay monthly, the chargers will now be calculated twice a year instead of once per year.
    “What that’ll end up doing is smoothing out the big changes that could occur,” said Hewko.
    The multi-year budget also stabilizes the tax rates and allows residents to plan their personal budgets as future tax rates are known.
    Right now the city is using a two year budget cycle and will be changing to a four year budget cycle in 2019.
    For more information about taxes go to www.chestermere.ca/taxes.