As a community, we have reaped the rewards of having “all hell for a basement” and owning minerals rights for extensive natural gas reserves. The profits from our energy utilities have allowed us to enjoy a level of municipally-provided services that is equal to or greater than any community of our size in Alberta.
The City also derives funding from other sources, including property taxes. Property taxes are used to help pay for municipal services, including police and fire services, snow plowing, park maintenance and recreational and cultural programming.
Like other municipalities, property taxes are a large contributor to the municipal services budget. In 2015, property taxes accounted for $64 million of the $110 million municipal services (tax supported) budget or 59% of the total.
The City of Calgary prepares a Residential Property Taxes and Utility Charges Survey annually. The most recent survey (2014) showed Medicine Hat had the lowest property taxes of any participating Alberta community for all housing types.
Increased property taxes is one option for filling a portion of the funding gap created by the decrease in commodity prices and the subsequent decrease in subsidies from our energy utilities to the municipal services budget. A one per cent increase in taxes equals approximately $650,000 in tax revenue for the City.
More information about property taxes: