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MD of Bonnyville, AB

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This new sub-class applies to businesses with less than 50 employees, as of Dec. 31, 2017. Do they have to be full-time employees, or do part-time and seasonal employees also qualify?

The provincial government, which allows municipalities to establish this tax rate, allow only for a count of full time employees. This means if a business has 15 full-time employees and 60 seasonal employees, the seasonal employees would not be part of the count. This business would be defined as "less than 50 full-time employees" and would qualify to be included in the new sub-class.

Does this new tax class depend on the zoning of my property?

Not necessarily. For tax purposes the Municipal Government Act (s. 297(4)(b)) says that a property that receives a non-residential tax rate is"…other property on which industry, commerce or another use takes place, or is permitted to take place under a land use bylaw passed by council…". The zoning is a major influence on property that is zoned for commercial or industrial purposes but is not currently being used. If you have more questions on this please feel free to contact our assessment team at 780-826-3171.

If I am a farmer with less than 50 employees, should I fill out the declaration form?

Please look at your Assessment and Tax Notice from 2017. If your property is paying a municipal farm tax, then your property is paying a lower tax rate than if it was assessed and taxed as a non-residential property.  Therefore, you will not need to fill out the declaration form.

Does this apply to me if I run a business out of my home?

Please look at your Assessment and Tax Notice from 2017. If you see that there is a "Municipal - Non-Res" property tax levy (found in the left middle of your Assessment and Tax Notice), then you may qualify for the Small Business tax rate. Some businesses are very small, and they may not meet the qualifications to have a non-residential tax rate. If the property has been taxed as a non-residential, then you may qualify for the small business tax rate.

Does this apply to me if I am the only employee of the business?

Please look at your Assessment and Tax Notice from 2017. If you see that there is a "Municipal - Non-Res" property tax levy (found in the left middle of your Assessment and Tax Notice), then you may qualify for the Small Business tax rate. Some businesses are very small, and they may not meet the qualifications to have a non-residential tax rate. If the property has been taxed as a non-residential, then you may qualify for the small business tax rate.

I am a contractor (welder, consultant, etc.), do I qualify for this tax sub-class?

Please look at your Assessment and Tax Notice from 2017. If you see that there is a "Municipal - Non-Res" property tax levy (found in the left middle of your Assessment and Tax Notice), then you may qualify for the Small Business tax rate. Some businesses are very small, and they may not meet the qualifications to have a non-residential tax rate. If the property has been taxed as a non-residential, then you may qualify for the small business tax rate.

What effect will this have on my tax bill?

If you had a "Municipal - Non Residential" tax rate on your 2017 Assessment and Tax Notice, and you met the requirements of the Small Business tax rate, you would be taxed at a lower rate that the Municipal - Non-Residential properties in the Municipality.  What would be the effect on the tax bill?  That is a little more complex to answer. Your Property Tax Bill is broken up into different taxes.  There is a Municipal Tax section, a School Tax section, and an Other Tax section on your notice.  Council only has control over the Municipal section. In November 2017, Council established an interim budget and their decision was to keep the same tax mill rates in 2018 as they were in 2017. If your assessment values remain the same as last year, and the municipal tax rates stay the same, you would see a lower municipal tax levy for the part of the property that qualifies under the Small Business sub-class.  We cannot predict the overall effect on your tax bill, as the School Tax and Other Tax sections of your bill are established by those requisitioning bodies.