FINANCE AND TAXATION
Ministerial Order 54/96 delegates the financial function to the Kananaskis Improvement District (KID) Council. Council has two functions in the KID finance system. First, it recommends where KID funds go by establishing an annual budget. The Chief Administrative Officer presents this recommendation to the Minister, who approves a final budget estimate and rate of taxation through a Ministerial Order.
Council’s second function is to monitor municipal program expenditures using the financial information prepared by KID Administration. Financial Statements and Year End Reporting are prepared by Administration through contracted services with a recognized Chartered Accountant. These financial reports are audited by the Auditor General of Alberta.
Council’s Budget and Audit Committee recommends the Kananaskis Improvement District's (KID) priorities for the next year by setting aside money in the budget for each program and service. Council’s role in the budget process includes the following:
- Setting overall goals and objectives (policy making)
- Allocating the resources (staff and money) to meet goals and objectives (policy making)
- Monitoring operations and programs to ensure they are cost effective and achieving results (program monitoring)
The budget itself has two parts, operating and capital.
The Operating Budget is a detailed estimate of how much the Kananaskis Improvement District (KID) needs to spend to meet its financial obligations and provide programs and services.
These combined obligations constitute the funds the KID needs to operate for the budget year. The next step in the budget process involves estimating all the revenues the KID will receive, except those from property taxes. These can include utility services, grants, sales of services and products. The difference between the KID's operating fund requirements and the estimated revenues is what the KID needs to raise through property taxes.
The Capital Budget is comprised of funds that are set aside for buying, financing, leasing or building fixed assets such as land, buildings, utility facilities and major equipment. Large asset acquisitions that the Kananaskis Improvement District (KID) will need and use for a number of years are planned for in advance and amortized over a number of years once obtained.
Capital Budget planning is carried out on a five-year cycle. The Capital Budget Plan sets out:
- What capital expenditures are needed (new assets or replacement of assets)
- When each is needed (setting priorities on when assets are needed)
- How the assets will be purchased
- Development of a Capital Reserve 5-Year Plan so funds are available when needed
The goal of the Capital Reserve 5-Year Plan is to achieve a balance of $200,000 and maintain a minimum of $125,000. Council has considerable flexibility in setting up the Capital Budget. Capital purchases may be paid for through a combination of sources:
- Funds generated from the sale of other assets
- Money set aside in Capital Reserve Funds
- Utility payments and other user fees
- Development agreements
- Donations and government grants
The Budget Cycle
The KID budgeting process has two parts: an Interim Budget and a Final Budget. The Interim Budget guides the KID’s financial decisions until all information from the previous year is finalized and the Minister can set a tax rate. Setting the tax rate is one of the most important parts of the KID budget process.
Preparation of the Interim Budget begins each year in June and concludes with the approval of the Interim Budget by the end of November. This budget allows the Kananaskis Improvement District (KID) to identify the funds needed for operating into the next year. Approval of the Interim Budget allows the KID to pay bills and other financial obligations (such as education requisitions) until tax revenues flow in later in the year.
The financial statements for the previous fiscal year are completed by May of each year. This information allows Council to fine-tune the Interim Budget, if required. Council then directs the Chief Administrative Officer to make a recommendation to the Minister to establish the rate of taxation by Ministerial Order. The final budget becomes official when it is approved by the Minister.
Property taxes provide the primary source of revenue and enable the Kananaskis Improvement District (KID) to provide municipal services.
The amount of tax paid on a property is the result of applying the tax rate to the assessment. Assessment involves assigning a value to private property, including land, buildings, and other improvements on the land. For most types of property, these assessments are set at market value. An exception is the assessed value of linear property such as pipelines, which is calculated by Alberta Municipal Affairs Assessment Services Branch. The assessed value multiplied by the current tax rate determines the amount of taxes a person pays. Tax rates are set by the Minister based on the recommendations of Kananaskis Improvement District (KID) Council and Administration as well as procedures set out in the Municipal Government Act.
The position of Assessor is established by KID Order 7 dated Feb 4, 2003 and Amendment No. 1 dated March 22, 2011. The Designated Assessment company is Wildrose Assessment Services Inc. For more information on the appointed Assessor please visit the Wildrose Assessment website at http://wildroseassmt.com.
Tax assessment notices are issued annually in mid-summer. Ratepayers can also obtain their assessments through the Kananaskis Improvement District (KID) municipal office at 403-591-7774.
Ratepayers may appeal assessments that they consider to be inappropriate or unfair. Copies of the complaint form and the assessment complaints agent authorization form set out in Schedules 1 and 4, respectively, of the Matters Relating to Assessment complaints Regulation may be found at the Municipal Affairs website on: http://municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/mc_assessment_complaints_and_appeals.cfm
A municipal council has the authority to appoint members to an assessment review board with the exception of the provincial member of a composite assessment review board (ARB), who must be appointed by the Minister. In order for a member of an ARB to be qualified to participate in a hearing, the member must successfully complete a training program set or approved by the Minister. A person may not be a member of an ARB if they are an assessor, an employee of the municipality for which the ARB is established, or an agent as defined in MRAC. The ARB decision can be appealed to the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta.
GRANTS AND DONATIONS
- FireSmart Community Grant
- Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta
- Municipal Sponsorship Initiative
- Alberta Municipal Infrastructure Program
- Federal Gas Tax Fund (formerly New Deal for Cities and Communities)
Community Grant Resources
Please visit the Municipal Grants Web Portal where you will find information on all provincial grant programs supporting municipalities.
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