The 2014 taxation year mill rates were set at the April 8 regular Bentley town council meeting. By-law 174/2014 to determine the mill rate for 2014 was passed.
The residential and farmland rate again went up slightly to 9.69 mils from the 9.50 mils in 2013 and 8.98 mils in 2012. The non-residential rate rose to 13.77 mils from the 13.50 mils in 2013 and 12.77 in 2012.
The total assessed value of property including residential/farmland, non- residential property and the value of machinery and equipment in Bentley rose to $99,892,560.00 with residential/farmland assessed at $86,263,910 and non-residential at $13,175,790.
It had dropped slightly for 2013 from $99,263,280.00 in 2012 to $98,868,430.00 despite the non-residential value increasing from $12,574,890.00 to $13,128,630.
Machinery and equipment assessed value increased to $452,860 from $448,970 in 2013 and from $437,740 in 2012.
The Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) mill rate decreased again to 2.5364 mils on residential/farmland for 2014 and 3.7984 mils on non-residential property. It had decreased ever so slightly to 2.74 in 2013 from 2.785 mils in 2012 for residential/farmland and from 4.169 mils in 2012 to 3.88 on non-residential property for 2013. The provincial government establishes the Education Tax Rate.
The mill rate for the Lacombe Seniors Foundation requisition is 0.0736, down from 0.0743 in 2013 and 0.0753 in 2012.
Bylaw 175/2014 to determine the mil rate on manufactured homes for 2014 was also read three times and passed.
Overall, because of the drop in the ASFF mil rate, most could see a slight decrease in taxes.
Both the water and the sewer rates automatically go up by five per cent as decided last year with bylaw 167/2013 and will increase at that rate each year extending into 2017.
No change to the monthly garbage pick-up fee was indicated.
The Fortis franchise fee on the distribution portion of the electricity bills remains at 10%, a new fee added for 2013 as per a decision at the October 9, 2012 regular town council meeting. Fortis collects the fees and turns them over to the town.
An Atco franchise fee placed only on the delivery tariff portion of gas bills of 10 per cent will be added this year as per a motion at the September 10, 2013 regular town council meeting. In the past the fee determined by the town had been set at zero per cent. ATCO collects the fees and turns them over to the town.
Both the ATCO and Fortis franchise fees will go towards the town’s infrastructure budget.
The snow removal budget for 2013-14 was over budget like most other places because of the winter’s snow accumulation. In Bentley, dealing with the long winter was felt in many departments as the same employees that provide other services also had to do overtime to keep up with the need. The winter was also hard on machinery and thus repairs were needed. A snow removal budget of $63,000 had been estimated but was actually closer to almost $83,000.
To compensate for the winter snow removal budget shortfall it was necessary to cut back in other places in the 2014 budget.
As of May 8, public works personnel, an administrative assistant for the office, and a town campground caretaker/attendant for the camping season are all being sought.