The assessment story in the M.D: downward trend continues

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

M.D. of Lesser Slave River council had its annual gab session with the company it engages to do property tax assessment, Accurate Assessment.
There were no big surprises. For example, it wasn’t exactly news that the total value of assessable property in the M.D. has declined. From a high of $1.8 billion in 2014, it dropped to $1.65 billion last year.
On the plus side, 18 wells were drilled in the M.D. last year, as opposed to zero in 2015. But the big picture on oil and gas wells shows that only 652 of the 2,303 wells in the M.D. are producing.
From the ‘things are bad but they could always be worse,’ department, council heard that the M.D.’s two per cent drop in industrial assessment looks better when compared to the five to 10 per cent decrease some M.D.s and counties have experienced.
The biggest loss was in linear assessment (pipelines, etc.) That was 13 per cent lower than last year.
The Accurate Assessment reps had some news about Bill #21, by which the provincial government proposes to take over industrial assessment from municipalities. A three-year transition period has been proposed. Municipal access to the assessment formula is an issue, council heard, and Accurate is lobbying for this.

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