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Council to Hold Special Meeting to Discuss Taxes and Recovery Committee

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Council to Hold Special Meeting to Discuss Taxes and Recovery Committee

Mayor Melissa Blake speaking to a resident over council's decision to repeal the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee // Jaryn Vecchio - Harvard Broadcasting

The Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee and taxes will be discussed at a special council meeting.

It’s being scheduled for next week where the repealing of the committee and the possible approval of the 2017 property tax rate bylaw will be voted on.

On Tuesday, council had a chance to dissolve the committee, needing a unanimous vote to head into the third and last reading. This is required, as all councillors must agree to go to this reading if they decide they want to discuss the entire motion in one meeting.

However, Councillor Phil Meagher voted against pushing the decision back for another week.

“Wouldn’t have expected by the time we got to the yes and no question that one person would throw a no out just to conclude the process a little bit later, it seems like it’s a foregone conclusion simply from the pattern I’ve seen in voting so it’s just a delay,” added Mayor Blake.

Meanwhile, they will discuss the 2017 property tax rate bylaw as it was delayed for an additional week to allow more time for industry assessment appeals.

Right now, rural homeowners could be seeing an increase in their property taxes despite the municipal portion being lowered. The province is raising its property education tax.

This could translate to an additional $49.00 a year for rural homes while urban homes and commercial buildings across the region are expected to see lower property taxes.

“So we’re seeing both sides of the same coin but I think there is a point where we end up in catch up to what the reality is, I don’t know when that will be but right now we’re working really hard to guard against things like the impacts of the 5:1 tax ratio.”

Council will meet on Tuesday, May 16, at 6 p.m. in the council chambers.

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