Village of Beiseker met to discuss the 2012 budget and start the process of setting a mill rate for this year.
We had an excellent meeting. Our Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) had drawn up a proposed budget. It was up us to go through it line by line and recommend changes. Our CAO will then take our changes back, work them into the budget figures and bring them back to council at our next regular council meeting. At that time we will either accept the changes and declare a mill rate or send it back for more modifications. By law we have to declare a mill rate by the end of June.
Something alarming is that our Overall Assessment has dropped more than three million dollars! That means that if we all sold all of our Beiseker properties today, we would receive three million bucks less than we would have last year!
Some properties were assessed higher and others assessed lower, many remained close to their 2011 assessments. It's all based on formulas created by a mysterious process called Market Value Assessment (MVA). It basically declares that if a similar property in a similar place sold for a certain amount, that's what my property is worth!
Yes, I know that there are flaws in that logic, but that's what the provincial government says we have to do. Municipal politicians from all over Alberta have complained to Municipal Affairs about this MVA system for years to no avail.
Council must estimate as closely as possible, how much money our municipality will need to operate for one year. We must then set a mill rate to raise that amount of money based on a one dollar tax for every $1000.00 of assessed value. Another provincial rule says that a municipality cannot submit a deficit budget.
We pored over the figures for more than two hours and made some important decisions. Our Overall Assessment has dropped but the cost of operating our municipality has increased!
I hope we gave our CAO enough guidance so that she might work out our budget and enable us to declare a mill rate at our next regular council meeting. That's about all I can tell you right now because nothing has been officially decided beyond that.
Our next meeting of council will be held on Monday, June 11, 2012.