Property taxes visible, tough to raise


Staff member
By Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

For other taxes, such as income taxes and sales taxes, the money collected by the government and the process of collecting it is less visible to taxpayers.
Currently St. Albert, like many communities, is facing an RMR deficit. The city is considering forming a municipal energy corporation as an alternative source of revenue to stave off a 1.5-per-cent property-tax increase to make up for the current $16-million annual RMR shortfall.
For communities struggling to fund the replacement of their infrastructure, many people argue municipalities could raise property taxes more than they do, Slack said, but those taxes are very visible to those paying for them, and governments receive more pushback when approaching this kind of hike.
"Property taxes that being per-capita adjusted for inflation, they haven't gone up that much," Slack said of Canadian municipalities.
Income taxes are generally withheld from employees and given directly to the government. Most people don’t know how much they spend on sales taxes every year. But property taxes are paid regularly, and residents know exactly how much cash they are handing over each month or each year.
"You had the money, and you have to pay it to the municipality," Slack said.
In Alberta, municipalities also collect an education tax on behalf of the province while they are collecting property taxes, which takes up a portion of the...continued.

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