Council addressing property taxes, higher fees for outside contractors

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Council addressing property taxes, higher fees for outside contractors

Money is going to be the big talk at RMWB council Tuesday evening.

Councillors will be starting their weekly meeting an hour earlier than usual to get through the agenda, which includes a discussion surrounding how property taxes will be collected in the wake of the wildfire.

Administration suggests in their presentation that the municipality could pursue provincial disaster relief funding to make up the gap for properties that were destroyed in the blaze. Council also has the power to vote for changes to the property tax bylaw to give relief as they see fit.

Before the wildfire, council had approved a $30 million reduction in the 2016 budget to reduce the tax burden on the region.

Councillors will also be discussing increasing fees for non-local contractors to make hiring local more appealing for the cleanup of Fort McMurray. Second and third readings on bylaw amendments that would increase landfill tipping fees and demolition permit costs will be on the floor.

The amendments are proposing to increase landfill tipping fees to 5x that of the resident rate for non-locals, while demolition permits would cost outsiders $2,000 as opposed to $200 for locals.

Delegates will be heard for both amendments, along with a proposal to amend the noise bylaw. That measure would allow heavy machinery to operate in the RMWB 24/7, allowing contractors to remove debris faster.

Council gets underway at 5 p.m. You can follow along on Twitter for live updates.
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