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On August 25, 2020 MLA for Grand Prairie, Tracy Allard was appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs. Will you help us congratulate the Minister on her promotion, and encourage her to modernize our province’s property tax framework so we can protect and create natural gas and oil jobs here at home?

Alberta’s assessment framework hasn’t been updated in nearly two decades and it is way out of line with other jurisdictions:

  • A comparable gas well in Alberta is assessed over 20 times higher than it is in B.C
    • which means a well assessed as being worth $221,000 in British Columbia is valued at $4.5 million in Alberta
  • A steam-assisted gravity drain (SAGD) facility in Saskatchewan is assessed 13 times lower than a comparable one in Alberta

Fixing our broken property tax system is one of the most important things our government can do to help protect and create oil and gas jobs in Alberta - but the government needs to hear directly from Albertans they support these changes. 

It is no secret that Alberta has been facing some tough economic times over the past few years. Yet unlike many Albertans, municipalities haven’t made the tough decisions.

Between 2008 and 2018, revenues collected from municipal property taxes nearly doubled from $3.8 billion to $7.4 billion – while during this same period, the value of oil and natural gas assets declined nearly 70 per cent.

This is a problem.

Oil and natural gas companies are going under, properties are being shut in or abandoned, and companies are pointing to high property tax costs as a cause.

This isn’t about a tax grab by municipalities or a tax break for oil and gas. It’s about creating a sustainable property tax framework that is fair and transparent, so our industry can be competitive and generate revenues for all levels of government well into the future. Most importantly, it’s how we can protect and create jobs.

Let’s keep the pressure up to fix a broken system so we can put Albertans back to work.

Key Facts:

  • While the value of natural gas and oil reserves and company assets has decreased significantly over the past decade, taxes levied on these companies have continued to increase.
  • Between 2008 and 2018, revenues collected from municipal property taxes nearly doubled from $3.8 billion to $7.4 billion.
  • During this same period, oil and gas enterprise value has fallen from a high of $380 billion in 2008 to $117 billion in 2020. And the value of oil and gas assets fell 70 per cent.
  • The Blue Ribbon Panel showed that between 2007/08 and 2017/18, provincial revenues per capita have increased by 2 per cent. Over the same time period, municipalities have experienced significant revenue growth of 48 per cent per person and continue to have the second-highest per capita expenses in the country.

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