ROCKY VIEW FORWARD
The Residents' Perspective
There are lots of issues facing residents in the 2017 election. Here's information on some of the key issues. We'll be adding more information here as the campaign progresses. If there are issues you'd like to see here, please let us know.
Fiscal Responsibility -= County Debt
In the early 2000s, the County was almost debt-free. Rocky View now have over $90 million that still needs to be collected from developers through off-site levies and at least another $100 million in commitments that have not yet been recorded in the financial statements.
Fiscal Responsibility -= New County Office Building
A new County Hall is currently under construction. No one disputes the fact that the County has outgrown its existing offices. But, the solution chosen by our Council is highly questionable. The new County Hall will cost at least $42 million. To finance this, the County is using five years of provincial infrastructure grant funding. This funding would otherwise have been available to upgrade Rocky View roads, bridges,
Gravel / Aggregate Development in Rocky View
The signs do not bode well for Rocky View residents if the current Council majority remains after the October 16th election. This summer, the majority on Council (including Boehlke, Lowther, and Kendall all of whom are seeking re-election) approved three new gravel pits in Division 9 – all along Big Hill Springs Road
Over the past decade, too much of Rocky View’s development has ignored the basic principle that growth must strengthen our existing communities, not fracture them. Change is inevitable; however, it must be sustainable and keep the costs of development where they belong – with the developer.
Transportation Off-Site Levy
The County has postponed revising its Transportation Off-site (TOL) Bylaw until after the election. This means that Council will have failed to deal with the clear inequities in the existing bylaw on a timely basis. The current TOL places an unfair burden on small landowners undertaking minimal subdivision of their land relative to large developers.
The Real Scoop on Rocky View Property Taxes
When the County talks about taxes, it always emphasizes the low residential property tax rate in Rocky View, especially relative to the tax rates in our neighbouring municipalities. Many of us had bought into this messaging. But, while the County’s assertion is technically correct, it is far from the whole story.
When you look at the property taxes paid by the average household, the story-line for Rocky View changes dramatically. It becomes obvious why the County prefers to compare tax rates. Based on tax rates, Rocky View has the second lowest tax rate of neighbouring municipalities. However, when you look at the actual taxes paid by the average household in each municipality, Rocky View is the fourth highest.