As per the update that Council received at the Public Works Meeting, the County has received a linear assessment change from Municipal Affairs for Inter Pipelines. The change is a reduction of 28,702,830 of assessment which equates to revenue lost of $609,820. $93,579 of that total represents the school tax portion of the total revenue. Additionally $4,828 is the portion that represents the tax for the MD Foundation. Both these amounts - total $98,407 - can be recovered through an underlevy, however that would not be realized until the 2015 fiscal year. This leaves the County with a budget issue of $511,413 to deal with. This could be taken from the Unrestricted Surplus that is $4,678,866 as of December 2013.
At the Public works meeting, I informed Council that likely this assessment change would affect other municipalities. Following that meeting it has been determined that there are 5 municipalities in the north east that are adversely affected by this assessment change - for a total of almost 180,000,000 in assessment and in excess of $3,000,000 of revenue lost. Indications from the other municipalities is that they are in favour of working collectively to approach the Minister of Municipal Affairs as to how these municipalities will be able to deal with the loss of revenue when they have already approved their budgets and Mill Rate Bylaws.
The MD of Wainwright has indicated that they are interested in working with us collectively, however they have also sent a letter from their municipality indicating their concern regarding the large assessment change and lack of notice.
Finally I do have some correspondence that indicates that Municipal Affairs was aware of the potential of this change in March, however municipalities were only notified on April 22. It is frustrating that some notice was not provided to the affected municipalities so that they could have removed the assessment from their total before finalizing the budgets.