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Motion brought forward to relieve tax burden of hardest-hit residents

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Motion brought forward to relieve tax burden of hardest-hit residents

A notice of motion was served Tuesday night by Councillor McGrath that would ease the municipal tax burden for McMurrayites who have been affected by the wildfire.

The motion proposes to cancel seven-twelfths of the municipal tax owed by homeowners whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged and need demolition due to the wildfire. The measure would have residents pay taxes for the portion of the year that their homes were still standing.

In addition, McGrath is proposing to relieve one-twelfth of the municipal portion of all residential taxes, and a further one-third of taxes for residents of Abasand, Beacon Hill, and Waterways with standing homes. The fractions would account for the period of time that residents were, or will be, away from their homes.

The move comes after concerns that residents whose homes were destroyed would still have to pay the full municipal tax burden. Under tax law, residents are responsible for municipal taxes based on the condition of their homes on December 31 of the previous year.

Administration advised council at last week’s meeting that they had the option to cancel a portion or all of taxes for residents. At the time, council passed a motion to reduce the municipal tax rate by two percent to provide some relief for all tax classes in the wake of the disaster.

McGrath’s motion will be addressed at the July 26 meeting.

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