Friday, March 22, 2013

Crowsnest Pass-Ranchlands, A different perspective on Annexation

There is no question grabbing a significant piece of Ranchlands would be a financial dream come true for the residents of the Crowsnest Pass. On the other side of the equation what would a resident or a business currently or potentially looking at locating in Ranchlands have to look forward to? 

In the Nanton News the other day the CAO for Ranchlands provided a comparison of Ranchlands Mill rates versus the surrounding Municipalities.  Keep in mind the numbers may seem low but he is just providing the Municipal portion of the mill rate, not included are the ASFF or the seniors lodge portion.

So now a resident of Ranchlands hearing about Crowsnest Pass annexing them gets to look at the following.  Let’s assume they have a property assessed at a value of  $500,000 today they are paying roughly $1650 in tax, become part of the Crowsnest Pass that number becomes $3050. Now a proponent of annexation will argue that other areas of the province that were annexed, negotiated a moratorium on tax increases or a phased in increase over any where from 5-20 year time frames that’s true. Sooner or later the new residents will get hit with the tax increase.

The area where this has a much larger impact is on the commercial side, let’s assume for a second you are going to locate a fair size business in Ranchlands, for the hell of it let’s pick a coal mine, lets say with an assessed value of $500 million. At today’s Ranchlands rate they would pay $2,528,000 a year. That same property taxed at the Cowsnest Pass rate would pay $5,385,250 a year.
A difference of $2,857,250 a year put that over a life span of 20 years it comes out to a whooping $57,145,000 those are substantial dollars. The point of all this, which tax rate do you think the owner of the coal mine will be pushing for? Plus keep in mind the people that will make the ultimate decision, the  province will get it’s share of royalties which ever municipality the mine sits in.

Willow Creek   Foothillls      CNP         Kananaskis      Ranchland    MD  Pincher Creek

Residential and Farmland                                             
3.7860              2.7979       6.1024        5.0560            3.3000           4.2738

Commercial/Linear/Machinery & Equipment               
7.4340             6.8704       10.7705      5.0560              5.3000          7.2003


Anonymous said...

Yes it is true that Ranchlands will fight annexation. But we also should fight for annexation. This mine, if and when it happens will have a major impact on our area. If we are not going to get the tax benefits maybe it is not a great deal for the Pass.And it is not just the tax dollars.With this mine making a big mess on our borders it would be better if we had some say as to what controls are in place instead of us asking Ranchlands to get the mine to clean up something.I think this is a fight that we should be fighting.And if the mining company does not want the annexation then I think we would have to make there lives difficult to move there product through the CNP.A fresh air tax!Or make the area bordering that mine some nice green space with no traffic allowed through it.The mine will go through whether it is in the CNP or Ranchlands.I think that it is imperative that we get behind this and fight for what should be ours.And if it means playing dirty with the type of threats mentioned above then so be it.

Anonymous said...

Due diligence would require they do the numbers on expected increased revenues from annexation vs. increased costs to provide services to the area. They should do it for different scenarios, depending on whether the mine starts in 2015, 2018, 2021 or never.

And they should make this analysis public before they make the decision to proceed with the annexation process.

The Bingay mine has "170 million tonnes of total resource and 39 million tonnes of clean coal product" and "capital investment for the mine will be approximately $500,000,000".

A Grassy mine may(?) be comparable in size and cost, but only a percentage of that will be taxable, since municipalities cannot assess mobile equipment or mineral rights. I don't know what that percentage is, but it is part of their due diligence to find out. If it's only 20% and the mine doesn't start till 2021, the net benefits to CNP taxpayers could be negative.