Education taxes about to soar in Calgary’s bedroom communities

Residents in Chestermere, including the town’s Mayor, are reacting with shock after learning their property tax bills are set to rise by more than 50 per cent.

Mayor Patricia Matthews tells 660News as part of the new provincial budget, the Redford government is scrapping a mitigation formula that used to shield some communities from higher education taxes.

Matthews agrees that when it comes to taxes, all municipalities should be treated equally; however, she thinks the increase should be phased in over a two to three year period.

She says the hike will boost most property tax bills in her community by about $400, and residents only have a few months to prepare for the increase which goes into effect in June.

Chestermere has asked the province to reconsider the move and give residents more time to comply.

Area MLA Bruce McAllister calls it another example of the government downloading its fiscal mismanagement onto the backs of rapidly-growing communities.

Airdrie is also being impacted by the tax changes, with estimates the education portion of their property tax bill will go up by about 22 per cent.

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