“We are aware of the recent survey results from the Rural Municipalities of Alberta. We agree with the RMA’s assessment that the problem of unpaid oil and gas taxes to rural municipalities is unacceptable. We are consulting with industry, municipalities, and landowners as we actively explore options to ensure taxes and are paid as a condition of license transfer.

“The Alberta Energy Regulator has a critical role to play in solving this problem. We worked with the AER and strengthened the regulatory framework so that it has the option to consider company records for property taxes and surface lease payment when determining a company’s eligibility to hold a license."

“These recent survey results from the RMA are broadly consistent with the government’s own research into this issue. While the problem of unpaid oil and gas taxes persists for many Alberta municipalities, we have recently seen payment plans established from 25 companies for municipalities to receive approximately $48 million in owed taxes. Our government will provide support as needed to municipalities as they create payment plans to recover unpaid taxes where possible.

“The vast majority of companies operating in Alberta’s energy sector pay their local property taxes but some have not, leaving municipalities with hard decisions about raising taxes for other taxpayers or cutting services. We will be in contact directly with delinquent companies, reminding them of their tax responsibilities.

“Our government will continue working with municipalities and the RMA to explore other options for tax recovery, including ways to promote payment agreements and provide specific direction to the AER within its regulatory framework.”