Hinton residents will receive their tax assessment and notices separately this year, rather than the previous single notice.
According to Town administration the new assessment and taxation notice process will be more transparent about where increases and decreases are occurring and create numerous efficiencies.
The change will also allow for a more accurate budget estimation and tax rate calculation.
“The purpose is to adjust the timing of the assessment information to allow for Hinton to be aligned with municipal best practice,” said Emily Olsen, Hinton CAO, at the Jan. 28 standing committee meeting.
The previous single notice was sent to residents in mid May and contained information on assessments and the tax amounts related and owing on those properties. Assessment and taxation will be dealt with separately in the new split assessments.
Homeowners can expect to receive their assessments prior to the end of February, following a declaration of the assessment roll by the assessor and an audit.
As homeowners are receiving their assessments earlier, the deadline to appeal assessments moves up to mid-April. This realigns the inquiry and appeals process to be complete before the finalization of mill rates.
Homeowners will receive their tax notices in May once the budget is finalized, with payment due at the end of June. A press release from the Town explained that an earlier audit timeline allows for a better and more accurate estimate of growth. More time will be available to assess properties throughout the year, making assessments more accurate and up to date.
“I’m excited there’s just some progress on this. I think it’s just a more transparent, more reliable way of going over this process,” said Coun. Dewly Nelson.
There will be no impact to assessed value through this change in notice.
The Town and assessor Warren Powers and his associates believe this change will mean fewer complaints and appeals in the community.
There will be a cost increase to mail out separate notices, which is offset by efficiencies and more accurate budget estimation savings.
For any questions, call the Hinton Government Centre or use Hinton Listens on Hinton.ca and the myHinton app.