Tax and Utilities

Small business owners pay lower taxes in Alberta than they would in any other province. Alberta's tax advantage results from a low single rate tax system, including the highest basic and spousal exemptions in the country, no general sales tax, no payroll tax, no capital tax, low corporate income tax rates, the lowest gasoline tax rate among the provinces, and low property taxes.
In recent years, a number of provinces have reduced small business tax rates and increased small business thresholds. Although small business corporations in British Columbia, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island could pay less income tax than their counterparts in Alberta, when all taxes are taken into account (personal, corporate, sales tax, health premiums), Alberta small business owners are still better off.

Municipal commercial taxes are very competitive. Municipal taxes in the larger urban centres in the Region are roughly $1500/$100,000 of assessment. The “wildcard” is assessment value – which is much lower than the Calgary metropolitan region, generating lower taxes for comparable enterprise operating space.

COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL TAXES
  Commercial Tax Rate Industrial Tax Rate Taxes/$100,000 Commercial Assessment Taxes/$100,000 Industrial Assessment
Fort Macleod* 17.054 17.05 $1,705 $1,705
Claresholm* 13.75 13.75 $1,375 $1,375
Cardston* 17.6854 17.6854 $1,768 $1,768
Pincher Creek 13.1487 13.1487 $1,314 $1,314
Crowsnest Pass 14.2403 10.48499 $1,420 $1,048
*includes municiple,education,seniors and other special taxes


Electricity/Natural Gas Utilities

Electricity/Natural Gas are deregulated in Alberta.  The Alberta government provides a website that assists consumers with choosing an appropriate provider for their residence or business (www.ucahelps.gov.ab.ca). The website includes current pricing to help you calculate business costs.

Regulated utility providers for the communities of size in the Alberta SouthWest region are as follows:

REGULATED UTILITY PROVIDERS
  Electricity Contact Natural Gas Contact
Cardston
Distributor Fortis Alberta 403.310.9473 ATCO Gas 403.245.7888
Provider ENMAX 403.310.2010
Direct Energy  Regulated Services 1.866.420.3174
Claresholm
Distributor Fortis Alberta 403.310.9473
ATCO Gas 403.245.7888
Provider Epcor 403.310.4300
Direct Energy Regulated Services 1.866.420.3174
Crowsnest Pass
Distrbutor Fortis Alberta 403.310.9473
ATCO Gas 403.245.788
Distributor Municipality of Crowsnest Pass 403.562.8833
   
Provider ENMAX 403.310.2010

Direct Energy Regulated Services 1.866.420.3174
Provider Epcor 403.310.4300    
Fort Macleod
Distributor Town of Fort Macleod 403.553.4426 ATCO Gas 403.245.7888

Provider ENMAX 403.310.2010 Direct Energy Regulated Services 1.866.420.3174
Granum
Distributor Fortis Alberta 403.310.9473 ATCO Gas 403.245.7888
Provider ENMAX 403.310.2010 Direct Energy Regulated Services 1.866.420.3174
Pincher Creek
Distributor Fortis Alberta 403.310.9473 ATCO Gas 403.245.7888
Provider ENMAX 403.310.2010
Direct Energy Regulated Services 1.866.420.3174
Stavely
Distributor Fortis Alberta 403.310.9473 ATCO Gas 403.245.788
Provider ENMAX 403.310.2010
Direct Energy Regulated Services 1.866.420.3174

Current Market Rates

Electricity and gas rates are variable based on market pricing. Utility costs can be a significant business cost depending on the type of business. To help you plan costs associated with your business venture, current market pricing as of January, 2011 is:
  • Electricity rate (regulated, commercial) – $7.305 cents/kwh
  • Gas rate (regulated, commercial) - $2.881/GJ

Water/Sewer/Garbage Utilities

Rural areas in the Region function with independent well/septic systems. Urban communities operate their own utilities. Current (2010) rates for selected communities are as follows:

Claresholm

  • Water - $26.06/month first 23 cubic metres, $.80 per cubic metre over base consumption
  • Sewer - $13.55/month
  • Garbage - $14.92/month

Crowsnest Pass

  • Water rates are variable based on the type of use – e.g. non-intensive commercial uses (e.g. retail) - $23/month, intensive commercial uses (e.g. car wash) - $92/month
  • Sewer rates are variable based on the type of use – e.g. non-intensive commercial uses (e.g. retail) - $16.05/month, intensive commercial uses (e.g. car wash) - $59.85/month
  • Garbage – is the individual responsibility of enterprise

Fort Macleod

  • Water - $41.66/month + $.40/cubic metre for first 125 cubic metres, $.34 next 350 cubic metres, balance $.21/cubic metre
  • Sewer - rate variable based on use – e.g. retail - $23.40/month to industrial plant $93.26/month

Pincher Creek

  • Water - $10.91/month
  • Sewer - $7.50/month + 10% commercial sewage charge
  • Garbage - $28.04/month