Assessment Information - There are many different property tax classifications used by Vulcan County; for example, Farmland, Residential and Non-Residential. The assessed values are typically a reflection of the market value of the property as of July 1st of the prior year and must also reflect the characteristics and physical conditions of the property as at December 31st prior to the year in which the taxes are imposed (the 2017 tax levy is based on the assessed value as at July 1, 2016 and the condition of the property as at December 31, 2016). Assessment is subject to Provincial legislation and has no municipal government influence.
Some properties may have certain assessment exemptions which are not subject to taxation. As shown in the example, there is an assessment description referred to "EXEMPTION - RAP" which is a regulated exemption on farmland. If there may be an exemption on your Tax Notice, there will be a note indicating that "If exempt items are noted above, they are excluded from the tax calculations".
Property Tax Details - This section uses the classifications and assessment values noted above to determine the 2017 property taxes. These taxes include the municipal portion (funds required for County operations), the contribution to the Vulcan and District Waste Commission, and the fire and recreation districts. The municipal portion is determined by the specific assessment values based on the property tax classifications (excluding any exemptions) and is used to generate the required funding to operate the County according to the 2017 Council approved budget.
As per the example:
- Residential taxes referred to as "MUNICIPAL - RESIDENTIAL" are based on the total assessment of the "RESIDENTIAL - FARM" of $87,070
- Farmland taxes referred to as "MUNICIPAL - FARMLAND" are based on the total assessment of the "FARMLAND" of $350
- The "EXEMPTION - RAP" is the assessment exemption, which is not included in any of the tax calculations
- The remaining tax levies of $87,420 are based on the total assessment for the property of $148,960 less the exemption of $61,540 (which also equates to the $87,070 residential plus $350 farmland)
The contribution to the Vulcan and District Waste Commission (SOLID WASTE COMMISSION) is based on the funding requisition that the Commission provides to Vulcan County. The contributions to the fire and recreation districts will depend on the amount of funding that was requested and approved from your specific district (there are six districts within the County, each with different tax rates).
In accordance with Alberta’s Municipal Government Act, Section 357, and approved by County Council, a $30.00 minimum property tax amount is effective for the 2016 and future tax years. The implementation of a minimum property tax amount is to cover the administrative and preparation costs required for each tax roll, such as determining assessment, preparing tax notices, postage/mailing, etc. The minimum property tax amount will typically be applicable if your property assessment is less than $3,000. Should you have properties that are in this lower assessment bracket, please review your ability to consolidate your land titles. To indicate if a minimum tax has been imposed on your Tax Notice, there is a note indicating that "Minimum Tax amount has been applied as per Tax Bylaw"
Requisition Tax Information - This section relates to the taxes that are requisitioned external to the County. The Marquis Foundation (SENIOR FOUNDATION) and the Alberta School Foundation Fund (ASFF) have requisitioning powers, and as such, Vulcan County is obligated to pay these requisitions (Council has no authority to adjust their requisition). All municipalities throughout the Province are required to levy charges on all assessable property (other than Machinery and Equipment for ASFF requisitions). The County collects the ASFF tax levy on behalf of the Province, and forwards the funds quarterly. Typically, the ASFF requisition represents approximately 25-30% of your total taxes.
Tax Installment Payment Program (TIPPS) - Vulcan County offers a Tax Installment Payment Plan, where monthly payments are automatically withdrawn from your bank account. To obtain information on enrolment, please visit "www.vulcancounty.ab.ca > Departments > Corporate Services > Tax Payment Plan".
Your property Tax Notice will indicate whether you are already enrolled in TIPPS. In this example, John Smith is not on TIPPS, therefore it indicates that "If you were on TIPPS your payment could be" and indicates the monthly payment of $71.15. Note that this amount is based on an January 1st enrolment, if you enrol later in the year this figure is adjusted. If you are already enrolled in TIPPS, the Tax Notice will indicate what the "Revised monthly tax payment" would be.
Amount Due - This section indicates the total amount that is owing to Vulcan County, including the 2017 taxes (and any balances in arrears) which are due by July 31, 2017. The arrears are the amounts owing from prior year’s taxes and related penalties, and any payments made on account will be applied to the oldest balance outstanding. You will not be required to pay the amount due if the balance is already in a credit position (payments made in advance) or if you are enrolled in the TIPPs program (as the remaining balance will be covered by your future TIPPs payments).
In 2017, this deadline was moved up from the prior date of September 30th to July 31st; whereas, we also mailed out the tax notices earlier (May 31st) to provide sufficient notice. These changes were made to have the County more comparable to other rural municipalities and to assist in the County’s cash flows as the County operates its budget year from January to December; thus the previous September 30th deadline made it so that the County did not receive its operating funding for nine (9) months of operations. We tried providing as much notice and advertising of these changes as possible, including many advertisements in the Vulcan Advocate (local newspaper) and on our website. We also provided details in the December 2016 edition of the County Newsletter (mailed to all ratepayers).
Penalties for Late Payment - This section indicates the total amounts owing if the payment is made after the July 31, 2017 deadline as per Bylaw 2016-019. On August 1st, a 6% penalty is applied on the total current year taxes outstanding. On October 1st and December 1st, a 3% penalty is applied on the total current year taxes outstanding. If payment is still not received by December 31, 2017, a 12% penalty is applied on January 1st on all balances owing as at that date.
Remittance Advice Slip - The bottom section of the Tax Notice is available to be detached and submitted with your payment. This section is to assist Vulcan County with ensuring that the payments are made to the proper owner and tax roll account (i.e. tax roll number, owner number, amount due, etc.)