Property value assessment more or less status quo

Most M.D. residents won’t see much change

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

A little up here, a little down there and not much change overall. That was more or less what M.D. of Lesser Slave River council heard last week about property value assessment for 2017.

Making the report was the firm the M.D. engages to do property value assessments. Troy Birtles of Accurate Assessment Group told council that 92 per cent of properties would see a change of 10 per cent or less in assessed value, plus or minus. The market price for properties dropped a quarter of a per cent overall, and growth in assessable residential property grew by a tiny .7 per cent, or $2.5 million dollars.

The value of industrial property in the M.D. was up $12 million in 2017, Birtles said, and non-residential property was up by $17 million. Linear was down $13 million and farmland dropped by $12 million.

The increase in industrial assessment, modest though it was, had to do largely with drilling activity in the Marten Hills.

“It looks like the activity will continue,” said Sean Barrett, the industrial assessment coordinator for Accurate.

Councillor Robert Esau asked when the M.D. can expect to see tax revenue from the big powerline that’s being built through the area. Not until after it comes on line, Birtles said.

Councillor Brad Pearson asked about properties that are “doubtfuls,” – in other words, that might not pay their taxes. That’ll be a topic for a budgeting discussion, was the answer.

With the assessment figures now in hand, the M.D. will come up with the mill rate. That number is multiplied by the assessed value of each property to come up with the individual property tax bill.

Anyone who disputes their property value assessment can appeal it. There will be an open house day, during which property owners can meet with representatives of the assessment firm at the M.D. office. The date has not been set. Birtles said calling him is a good alternative.

Council should be passing the budget and setting the mill rate in the next week or two.

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