What funding option did County Council approve?
County Council approved Option 4 for First Reading at the April 7, 2016 council meeting and passed Second and Third Readings on April 21, 2016.
These values reflect calculations based on the County’s agricultural economic impact resulting in 26% of revenue generated from special tax and 70% from the intensive livestock industry through a business tax and the balance of approximately 4% from the sand and gravel industry. Option 4 is based on a two year phase-in approach of Option 1 ($3.5 Million) with approximately 75% of revenue being collected from the business tax and special tax in 2016 and increased to 100% in 2017. The phased in values are outlined in the chart below.
How did you determine the suggested funding options?
Agricultural assessment has been frozen since 1995. Farmland assessment is $156 Million out of the total $1.7 Billion in assessment. A way of collecting additional revenue is needed. The Municipal Government Act (MGA) has limited opportunities by which tax revenue can be collected. Working with County lawyers, the implementation of the business tax to livestock producers and a special tax to crop producers was determined to be the best solutions offered under the MGA.
How has the number of units in the Options been determined?
The County is using information from approved license amounts and the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) conversion rates to calculate animal units for livestock producers. Gravel tonnage weights have been estimated for the purposes of this calculation. The special tax on irrigated and dryland farming is calculated on assessed values.
Sample Business Tax Calculation
The business tax is calculated through a conversion of the AOPA formula to animal units. For example, a 10,000 licensed operation beef feeders 450 - 900 lbs. is converted to 5,000 animal units. The business tax will be based on 1 turnover per year. Animal units were identified as a fair comparison between livestock types and how they impact the Market Access Network.
Sample Special Tax Calculation
Special tax is calculated on assessed values; however, for the presentation of the Options, we have shown it on a per acre basis.
The calculations do not include all variations.
Animal Equivalent Units and Exemption Thresholds
Please select the image below to enlarge.