By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
According to numbers provided by Accurate Assessment Group, between 2014 and 2018 the County of Paintearth has lost $60 million in designated industrial property value.
In 2014, the estimated value of the designated industrial properties was $260 million in the County.
Today, the 886 properties in the County barely account for $200 million.
“We are seriously declining in designated industrial properties in central and eastern Alberta,” said Ray Fortin, industrial assessment specialist with Accurate Assessment Group. Fortin presented his findings to the County of Paintearth municipal council during their June 4th meeting.
Designated Industrial Properties were previously assessed by the local municipalities, however after industry became unhappy with how the rates were assessed, and the variation from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the Province stepped in a few years ago to standardize assessments of industrial properties.
Industrial properties that now fall under provincial jurisdiction for taxation include all facilities that fall under the Alberta Energy Regulator, National Energy Board, or the Alberta Utilities commission.
Examples of properties taxed under provincial jurisdiction are oil wells, pipelines, telecommunications infrastructure, and electrical infrastructure.
Grain handling facilities are excluded from being assessed as Designated Industrial Properties.
Despite the loss in industrial value, there is still new infrastructure coming online.
In 2018, the County of Paintearth added 14 new Designated Industrial Properties including 22 new wells. In comparison, in 2014 there were 27 new Designated Industrial Properties including 29 new wells.
Industrial properties in the County of Paintearth are assessed by Accurate Assessment Group on behalf of the province. Twenty per cent of existing properties and all new properties are inspected in the County each year.
In 2018, Accurate Assessment Group conducted 234 field inspections in Paintearth County out of 14,200 spread across 17 municipalities.
The way Designated Industrial Properties are assessed is currently under review, and changes are expected for the 2020 tax year.