County honouring agreement

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Big Lakes County is honouring its commitment to Tolko Industries by providing a tax break in 2020.

While it may look bad in some resident’s eyes, especially since council raised taxes at a special budget meeting April 29, council committed a tax break to Tolko to help with their restart in 2017.

Council increased the 2020 mill rate 1.5 percent for residential and farmland properties, but not for non-residential properties.

On 2020, Big Lakes County passed a motion “that the three-year phase-in M&E rebate of 40 per cent on the assessed value of new machinery and equipment be approved for Tolko Industries Ltd.”

The amount Tolko saves by the break and at cost to county taxpayers was not disclosed.

On April 21, 2017, tax concessions for Tolko to help Tolko re-open its plant west of High Prairie, were debated at the Inter-Municipal Committee meeting with the County and Town of High Prairie.

June 14, 2017, Big Lakes County formally agreed to the phase-in tax break.

“This phase-in approach [tax break] will not only generate increased revenue for the County but it will also bring people to our county, which will increase our economic activity,” Reeve Ken Matthews said in a news release.

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