Oil and gas business tax information requested by council

Oil and gas business tax information requested by council by Dan Singleton, October 2, 2012, Mountain View County
Mountain View County councillors have passed a motion instructing administration to bring forward updated information on the county’s proposed oil and gas business tax. During last week’s regularly scheduled council meeting, Coun. Paddy Munro, who chaired last week’s meeting and put forward the motion, said he believes the county needs to move forward with such a tax without delay. “There’s major discussion going on right now about this market-based assessment and the whole tax sharing,” said Munro. “I think we need some ammunition. If anything changes we’ve got to be able to throw a tax out there to recover our costs from the oil and gas industry. “To have this amount of activity and not make any money as a county, that’s just not acceptable. If we have to move, I want to be able to move quickly and I want the province to know that we will move quickly. “I would like information on where we are with the business tax and how much it would cost to complete it and how long it would take.”

The county’s 2012 budget included money to prepare a business licence tax for the oil and gas industry. The county has already engaged University of Calgary law students to research the legalities of a county tax, research that was completed in June. Jeff Holmes, director of legislative, community and agricultural services, told council: “The last motion from council was to put the business licence tax on hold pending the outcome of the well drilling equipment tax review by the province. “We have completed the legal review (of a possible MVC tax). We have not initiated the financial review that would look at how to actually structure it. That was put on hold by council pending the results from the review. Certainly we look for direction from council on where council wants to go on that.” The provincial review under the Department of Municipal Affairs has not been completed. The motion passed last week calls for administration to bring the updated information back to council at the Oct. 10 Policies and Priorities meeting. [Emphasis added]

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