“Unconscionable!” Diana Daunheimer on Rachel Notley’s NDP giving $50 Million from education taxes paid by Albertans to municipalities to cover oil & gas companies not paying their taxes (after years of massive profit taking)

Diana Daunheimer, frac’d mother of two living by Didsbury, FB comment:

The NDP are taking money collected from taxpayers for education in the province, to pay municipalities, for defaulting oil and gas companies. This is unconscionable. Not only have our taxes increased in our county because of oil and gas defaults, but in the years to come, it stands to reason, our education property taxes will also increase to cover the costs of subsidizing municipalities for insolvent oil and gas operators. This is not a solution. Our schools are already struggling with poor funding, now the NDP takes $50 million from the education fund, to socialize industrial defaults?

There needs to be changes to the Municipal Government Act, so that municipalities have better options to recover taxes owed from insolvent companies.

Alberta municipalities get relief on uncollectable tax by Brenda Neufeld, November 15, 2017, News Talk 770

The Alberta government announced a tax credit Wednesday for rural municipalities dealing with uncollectable education property taxes on oil and gas properties.

Oil and gas facilities are taxed until they are listed by the Alberta Energy Regulator as abandoned. 

But that process can take years and until that happens, municipalities still have to remit the education portion even though there’s no money to collect.

“I heard loud and clear during my visits to rural communities this summer that they are facing tax recovery challenges. So we made this a priority and worked with the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) to come up with this solution,” Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson said.

The Provincial Education Requisition Credit, or PERC, will be retroactive to 2015 when oil prices began to fall. It will operate for five years, until 2019. [But, will not go further back when prices were driven greedily high, and companies took masses in profits across the province?]

Municipalities that have written off the municipal property tax for oil and gas facilities will be eligible to apply for the credit on the education portion of their property tax.

“Having to pay education tax to the government that couldn’t be collected has created significant financial challenges for our members,” AAMDC president Al Kemmere said.

“Municipalities can now focus on other matters, as we look forward to the long-term solution to this issue.”

The first deadline for applications is January 2018.

A cost estimate of the program will be determined once the first applications have been received, but program spending is capped at $10 million per year.

PERC does not apply to other types of uncollectable municipal property tax, or to seniors’ housing requisitions. [Emphasis added]

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