The Finance Department is part of Corporate Services and is responsible for financial record keeping, reporting, and safekeeping of municipal assets, and investment of municipal funds. The Manager of Finance and staff perform all duties associated with property tax and collection, accounts payable and receivable, grant administration, budget analysis, payroll, production of financial reports, and maintaining financial records.
The Municipal Government Act requires that each year, Council adopt an operating and capitial budget. Budgets are a plan of the expenditures and revenues that take place over the course of the year. Each department prepares a budget required to provide the programs and services determined by Council through bylaws and policies. During November and December, budgets are presented for Council’s consideration with the goal to adopt prior to the end of the year
The Director of Corporate Services is the Chief Financial Officer and is accountable for insuring accurate, timely and transparent information for Council and the public. This is achieved through policy internal controls and is affirmed through the annual audit process. Corporate Services oversees the security and networking of it systems, software and financial programs utilized within the county office.
Property Tax Exemption
Westlock County invites any local non-profit organizations to apply for property tax exemption under the Community Organization Property Tax Exemption Regulation (COPTER).
To qualify, the organization must be a registered non-profit and meet the general rules and conditions of the Provincial Tax Exemption Regulations.
Examples of organizations that may qualify are:
- Sports and recreation centres
- Community associations
- Fair and exhibition centres
- Arts and museum centres
- Child care facilities
- Ethno-cultural facilities
- Charitable and benevolent organizations (e.g. disaster relief, emergency shelters)
Organizations must complete the appropriate application form and include supporting information as requested:
- Certificate of Incorporation, current confirmation that the organization is registered in good standing and the Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association, if any;
- Copy of the organization’s most current financial statements
- Copy of title (if applicable)
- Copies of the current lease agreement with the property owner (if applicable) and a plan showing the area leased;
- A letter from the property owner confirming that (if applicable) the property owner is aware of this exemption application and understands Rocky View County will estimate taxes on the area occupied by the organization based on methodology that may be different from that used by the landlord;
- Any available brochures, newsletters or other pertinent information relative to your organization;
- Any other information the Assessment Department may, periodically, deem necessary.
Forms and supporting in http://Application Forms formation must be submitted to the County in full by September 30 annually.
Organizations that have previously applied and qualified for (COPTER) may not be required to reapply as yearly application is waived for a period of three years. However, if any changes occurred regarding the limitations to general rules and permitted use for the property, Westlock County must be informed.
Tax and Assessment
Your property tax is made up of 3 components, including the municipal levy, the education levy and the seniors levy.
The Tax Rate Bylaw sets property tax rates for property owners. Property taxes are determined by multiplying individual property assessment values by the tax rates.
Council sets the tax rate based on the required revenue needed to pay for County programs and services. Individual assessments and taxes usually change each year due to the requirements of the annual budget and year-to-year changes to property values.
Alberta Education requisition
Each year, Westlock County receives a requisition from Alberta School Foundation. The County must collect these funds and send them to the Province. The funds support public and separate schools across Alberta. The Provincial Government also sets an education tax rate for municipalities. Westlock County cannot change the requisition amount set by the Province each year.
For more information, visit school support declaration.
Visit the Education Minister.
Senior housing requisition
The County receives a requisition from the Homeland Housing which provide affordable seniors housing. Under the Alberta Housing Act, the County is required to collect these funds from municipal property owners, and remit them to the Homeland Housing. Westlock County cannot change this requisition amount.
Property Tax Payment Information
Property Assessment and Tax notices are mailed by May 30th each year (For 2020 only, they will be mailed out by June 30 and due July 31). If you have not received your notice please contact the Tax Department for a copy. Your taxes are due the last working day of June to accommodate changes in the assessment appeal process.
A 2% penalty is applied to current taxes not paid by 4:30 pm June 30th
A 10% penalty is applied to current taxes not paid by 4:30 pm October 31st
An 18% penalty is applied to total outstanding taxes not paid by 4:30 pm March 31st of the following year.
Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP)
Westlock County TIPP is a simple, secure and convenient way to pay your annual property taxes. TIPP allows you to have a payment automatically withdrawn from your bank account each month from January to December. The plan simplifies your budget by dividing your yearly property tax bill into 12 monthly payment.
Tax and Assessment FAQs
Q: What is the actual tax year?
A: Your annual tax notice covers the period from January 1st to December 31st.
Q: When are the tax notices mailed?
A: The annual tax notices are mailed in late May.
Q: When are taxes due?
A: Taxes are due within 30 days of mailing.
Q: Can I make monthly payments for my taxes?
A: Yes. Westlock County offers a Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP) by which you pay your taxes in monthly installments by pre-authorized transfer of funds from your bank account, rather than one single payment.
Q: Why am I being charged a penalty when I didn’t receive my tax notice?
A: Tax Notices are sent to the mailing address recorded at the Alberta Land Titles Office and it is the property owner’s responsibility to keep the Land Titles record accurate. Under the Municipal Government Act, once mailed, the tax notice is considered to have been received within seven days. Each year, the County advertises in the newspaper, reminding property owners when taxes are due. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure taxes are paid by the due date. Taxes will be due the last working day of June.
Q: I have owned the property for only a few months, why am I being billed for the full year?
A: All charges on a tax account become the responsibility of the registered owner of the property. When you purchase a property, adjustments for taxes are made between the vendor and the purchaser.
Q: Is there a discount for seniors?
A: There is no discount on taxes for seniors. However, the Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program has been established by the Government of Alberta. The provincial government also has the Alberta Seniors Benefit Program, a monthly income subsidy available to seniors based on income. Seniors – Contact Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit the Alberta Health website at www.health.alberta.ca/services/drugs-seniors.html for more information on:
- the Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program
- the Alberta Seniors Benefit
- other provincial programs and services for Seniors
Q: My mortgage company pays my taxes, why do I receive a notice?
A: If your mortgage company is paying your taxes they will receive a copy of your tax notice and you will receive the original notice for your records. The property tax notice will show the name of your mortgage company and your mortgage number.
Options for Paying your Taxes
- By mail to Westlock County 10336-106 Street Westlock, Alberta T7P 2G1
- At the County Administration Office; cash, cheque or debit card only. Offices are open Monday to Friday during business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- At the County Administration Office through the mail slot; cheque only. Non-business hours, weekends and holidays.
- At most chartered banks, trust companies, credit unions.
- Via Telephone/Internet Banking through most major banks. (Send tax bill remittance portion with your payment.)
- Make your cheque payable to Westlock County.
- Your cancelled cheque is your receipt. Please do not send cash through the mail.
- For your convenience a post-dated cheque is acceptable.
We do not accept credit cards as a form of payment for your taxes.
Please note in the event of a postal strike payments are still due and payable as usual for those rate payers unable to travel to the County Administration Office please utilize the electronic options of online or telephone banking.
Taxation & Assessment/IT