Position Profile

Job Title:  Director, Tax Program Delivery

Work Unit:  Municipal Assessment and Grants, Grants and Education Property Tax / Tax Program Delivery

Ministry:  Alberta Municipal Affairs

Competition Number:  1043042

Date:  June 2017
 

Position Summary

 

Reporting to the Executive Director of the Grants and Education Property Tax Branch, the Director of Tax Program Delivery (TPD) is responsible for providing leadership, direction, and management to a group of management, professional staff and administrative professionals that provide support for three major provincial tax programs - the provincial equalized assessment, the education property tax requisition, and the Grants In Place of Tax (GIPOT). This position ensures that the appropriate resources and processes are in place for the delivery of accurate and timely equalized assessments and education property tax requisitions and GIPOT.

The Director, TPD plays a key role in ensuring that effective policies and practices are in place for property tax exemptions (e.g. Community Organization Property Tax Exemption Regulation) and Community Revitalization Levies (CRL). This requires that the Director work closely with municipalities, ratepayers, external organizations, and other program areas to gain their perspective on these matters.

The purposes of the position are:

  • To lead and advise on education property tax (EPT), equalized assessment (EA), and grants in place of tax (GIPOT) program and initiative development, program reviews, program and policy research, and special issues. This leadership is provided within the context of a highly sensitive and often politically complex environment. It requires extensive coordination with other provincial ministries, including Treasury Board and Finance, Education, Seniors and Housing, and Infrastructure.
  • To lead and advise on legislation and policy in the review and development of regulations and ministerial orders relating to property tax exemptions and the Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) program.
  • To lead and advise on Tax Program Delivery programs (EPT, EA, GIPOT and CRL) including delivery and implementation, processes and systems.
  • To participate and ensure representation on, and contribution to, numerous provincial and cross-ministry committees, and special projects, mainly focusing on property tax and assessment issues. Participation includes program and initiative development, policy development, program reviews and provision of information and advice.
  • To ensure the provision of timely and accurate information to support branch budgeting, forecasting and expenditures monitoring.
  • To work with stakeholders on program development, implementation and delivery issues, including regulation reviews, program reviews and changes.
  • To act on behalf of the Executive Director when required.

Specific Accountabilities

  1.

Equalized Assessment and Education Property Tax Requisition

Outcomes are: Equalized assessments are accurately prepared and distributed to municipalities on the legislated date and the education property tax requisitions accurately reflect each municipality's fair share of Alberta Education' s property tax revenue requirement.

These outcomes involve or require:

  • Leading a team of highly specialized professional staff to direct, monitor and evaluate the delivery of the provincial equalized assessment and the education property tax requisition program and policy within the province to ensure efficient, effective and economical delivery of services.
  • Ensuring the education property tax policy of the government is implemented and continually monitored for effectiveness in achieving the desired outcomes.
  • Ensuring the targeted education property tax revenue requirement of the province is obtained. This includes accounting for circumstances that may cause a shortfall in the revenue requirement and making sure adequate allowances are proved for in the budgeting process. Shortfalls in the education tax fund can result in a deficit situation for Alberta Education and a negative impact on the general revenue fund of the province.
  • Working with Treasury Board and Finance to ensure the education property tax requirement and provincial tax rates are appropriately reflected in budget and reporting documents.
  • Leading professional staff in the development of regulations and ministerial orders as they pertain to equalized assessment and education property tax (e.g. Assessment Quality Minister Guidelines).
  • Leading the implementation of best practices and identifying opportunities for improvement in the delivery of these two provincial programs.
  • Coordinating and conducting environmental scanning and promote it as an essential activity for all staff.
  • Leading program reviews as required to ensure program is meeting intended objectives and is as effective and efficient as possible.
     
  2.

Grants in Place of Taxes (GIPOT)

Outcomes are: Effective and accurate implementation of the Grants in Place of Tax program.

These outcomes involve or require:

  • Leading a team of professional and administrative staff in the development of new GIPOT program policies, guidelines and GIPOT payment policies, in a highly sensitive and politically complex environment.
  • Liaising with Infrastructure on short-term/long term budget requirements (new provincial capital acquisitions, leasing, etc).
  • Leading the team to ensure that GIPOT policies consider municipal stakeholders and the provincial requirements related to the delivery of the GIPOT program and to ensure that GIPOT grants are based on the property taxes the Crown would pay if the property were not exempt from taxation.
  • Leading and directing the team in the implementation of the recommendations coming from the GIPOT Comprehensive Strategic Review.
  • Leading and directing the team in environmental scanning including background research on how well the existing GIPOT program is meeting municipal needs.
  • Leading and directing the team in addressing the requests that do not meet the requirements of the GIPOT policies and guidelines.
  • Working with stakeholders to clarify and/or resolve concerns that may occur.
     
  3.

Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) Program

Outcomes are: The CRL program is an effective tool for encouraging re-development in blighted areas without creating an unanticipated shift in the education property tax.

These outcomes involve or require:

  • Leading a cross divisional team in the development of a CRL evaluation framework for CRL applications and a 10 year review of approved CRL areas.
  • Leading a cross-divisional team in the evaluation review and recommendations for new CRL requests and ensuring a 10 year progress evaluation review are conducted.
  • Ensuring proper approvals of CRL regulations and bylaws for each CRL area are met.
  • Ensuring the CRL baseline and incremental assessments are tracked for each CRL area.
  • Leading staff ensuring program materials are developed and/or updated as required.
     
  4.

Community Organization Property Tax Exemption Regulation (COPTER)

Outcomes are: Effective application of property tax exemptions relating to COPTER.

These outcomes involve or require:

  • Leading and directing staff in the review and preparation of recommendations for addressing stakeholder concerns relating to the COPTER.
  • Leading staff in providing advice to municipal assessors and local governments on the application of the COPTER.
  • Leading staff ensuring program materials are developed and/or updated as required.

Knowledge / Experience

 

A strong knowledge of municipal legislation including the Municipal Government Act, the School Act, the objectives and requirements of equalized assessments, education property taxation and Grants in Place of Taxes, the constraints of the Constitution that impact the administration of the Alberta School Foundation Fund and opted-out school board requisitions is required. Knowledge of assessment and property tax policy and process in jurisdictions across Canada and the United States is also required.

This position requires a good knowledge of the legislation and regulations, including property assessment and tax exemptions; knowledge of market value assessment and mass appraisal; and, knowledge of regulated property assessment practices that impact the production of the equalized assessment and property tax.

Proficiency in dealing with provincial property taxation issues and knowledge of existing tax structures is required. The position has a broad understanding of the provincial principles of taxation (income, sales, royalties, lotteries, etc.) and extensive knowledge of past and present property tax theory and systems.

A strong knowledge of analytical procedures, research methodologies, and assessment and taxation processes is required. This position makes significant use of coordination, consultation, investigation, presentation, writing and organizational skills, data collection and evaluation.

Strong ability to explain provincial initiatives and consult directly on a person-to-person basis with other government departments and senior provincial and municipal administrators and assessors, elected officials. Strong ability to promote teamwork, collaboration and partnerships.

Ability to explain complex issues to audiences of varied sophistication. The position is also required to prepare succinct responses taking tone and content into account. The position oversees the preparation of correspondence and briefings for Ministry Executive, Minister and Government.

Skills Required:

  • Supervisory.
  • Decision-making.
  • Project and time management.
  • Research, conceptual, analytical.
  • Verbal and written communication.
  • Consultation and facilitation.
  • Interpersonal, mediation and negotiation.
  • Organizational and budgeting.

Essential Work Experience:

  • Management and leadership of professional staff.
  • Program and policy development and program delivery.
  • Review and/or implementation of programs, legislation and regulations.
  • Liaising with political representatives.
  • Liaising with municipal governments.

Leadership and Business Know-How

 

The Director must be self-initiating and self-directing, ensuring the programs assigned to the Tax Program Delivery unit are appropriately resourced and processes are delivered efficiently in an accurate and timely manner through innovative policy and initiative development. Decisions and recommendations are reviewed and approved by the Executive Director, Assistant Deputy Minister, Deputy Minister, and/or Minister. More specifically, the incumbent:

  • Directs staff in the development of new programs, policies and initiatives.
  • Directs staff in the review and modification of existing programs, policies and initiatives.
  • Makes decisions on the form, content and general style of program documentation.
  • Directs staff in the implementation and delivery of existing and new programs, policies and initiatives.

Recent Examples:

  • Leading a cross-divisional team in the review and recommendations from the program perspective of various Municipal Government Act changes.
  • Leading the team in the review and recommendations of assessment and tax regulations as they relate to equalized assessment and exemptions. A review of existing 603 regulations that included the electric power generation exemption regulation and the extension of linear property regulation required review and recommendations on how these regulations were to be incorporated into statute.

Problem Solving

 

This position is accountable for research and developing policy proposals that may result in changes to ministry policy or existing legislation. Direction is given with accountability to produce options and recommendations within prescribed timelines.

Recent Examples:

Leading a cross-divisional team in the review and development of new guidelines for the Community Revitalization Levy. This initiative is significant in that it provides criteria to gauge a municipality's eligibility for an establishment of a CRL levy area. It will also provide guidelines for the 10 year review of existing CRL areas and potential re-enactment of related regulations. This program is a politically sensitive program. Unrestricted use of the CRL program can impact the availability of the provincial education property tax base, which could result in increases in the education property tax burden for taxpayers in non-CRL areas.

Lead in the education property tax revenue review involving a cross-ministry team (Treasury Board and Finance and Alberta Education) that resulted in options and recommendation (approved by Treasury Board) whereby the mitigation formula used for calculating each municipalities education property tax requisition was eliminated and a policy approved for calculating the education property tax revenue requirement consistently on an annual basis.

Relationships / Contacts

Clients Frequency Nature and Purpose of Contact
Internal

Professional staff and other colleagues

Daily

Provide timely information and advice on projects, issues and policies relating to tax program delivery initiatives and related legislation.

Legal Services

Weekly or monthly Legal advice/opinion on assessment and tax legislation.

Senior Management

As required Provide timely information and advice on projects, issues and policies. To provide updates and information regarding progress of initiatives.

Minister and other elected officials

As required Provide timely information and advice on projects, issues and policies with options for consideration.

Legislative Policy Unit of Municipal Services and Legislation

As required Coordinate policy decisions regarding tax program delivery initiatives so that legislative changes and updates can occur. Coordinate ministerial order process. Represent the Grants and Education Property Tax Branch perspective on any related legislative review process.

Municipal Assessment and Grants Staff

Daily Information and advice on equalized assessment and education tax issues, policy and legislation, as well as the related programs of other departments.
External

Alberta Education, Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, Alberta Seniors and Housing, and Alberta Infrastructure

As required Maintain an effective network of contacts to share information and assistance; determine effect of policy changes on other departments. Participate in the development of related cross-ministry policy decisions. Participate in the development of cross-ministry program messaging and assist in the delivery of appropriate programs.
Municipal officials - elected or appointed - and municipal associations As required Provide advice and information regarding the equalized assessment and education property tax legislation and Grants in Place of Tax. Provide information and advice regarding government initiatives including the reporting of information tax program delivery initiatives. Resolve issues that arise regarding the administration of tax program delivery at the local level. Bring issues forward to the department's attention.
Contractors/Consultants As required Direct research and development of tax program delivery policy investigations. Arrive at recommendations for policy change. Direct development of policy and process communications.

Impact and Magnitude of Job (Scope)

 

The Director, Tax Program Delivery, is responsible for developing, modifying and reviewing property tax programs to ensure their relevancy and effectiveness for municipalities and Alberta property owners. The position is responsible for achieving fairness and equity among Alberta municipalities with respect to the distribution of education property tax burden. This is done through establishing an equalized assessment that accurately reflects each municipality's taxable assessment base. In 2017, approximately $2.4 billion of education property tax was requisitioned.

The position is also responsible for ensuring that grants in place of taxes are all appropriately provided to municipalities that have properties that are eligible for the grant. In 2016/17 over $56 million was paid out on over 6,600 properties. The position is directly responsible for CRL program and the COPTER. The CRL program is a tool to assist municipalities in revitalizing blighted areas. Since the CRL area channels education property taxes that would have been raised on new development in the established CRL area, the role of this position is to ensure that criteria have been met to ensure the objectives of the program are met and minimal distortion occurs with respect to the redistribution of the education property tax burden to other Alberta property owners.

The COPTER is a regulation that deals with properties, in particular non-profit organizations, which contribute social benefits to a community for which the municipality has been given flexibility in applying exemptions. With changing times and numerous interpretations of key definitions in the regulation, there has been an added demand of the province' s input in the application of the regulation and what types of organizations should receive exemptions. This regulation affects all property owners and the social well-being of communities.

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