Recently counties across the province were hit with a tax assessment proposal that would see taxes reduced for certain oil and gas companies - again. 

That means that those businesses wouldn't have to pay as much tax to the counties in which they operate, which in turn creates more stress on rural taxpayers as either taxes go up or services go down. 

Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood is the latest in a string of rural officials who are speaking out, saying if the UCP implement this latest tax cut, they could do serious damage on the counties and residents across the province. 

"We're very frustrated with the Province of Alberta for this proposal. This will be a disaster for rural Alberta. The loss of the assessment (tax) base from the oil industry will create financial hardship - a terrible financial hardship - for all rural municipalities," Wood said. 


He said they are in consultation with the Rural Municipalities Association and government officials and that they've been trying to plan since the news was "dropped on their laps" the day before the AB legislature checked out until fall seating. 

Wood said he'd be meeting with both Ministers Jason Nixon and Devin Dreeshen, two local UCP MLAs, to address the issue. 

 "I believe there will be rural municipalities that will actually probably have to give their keys back to the province - not Red Deer County, but some will for sure. This is so serious. The thing is that by taking away the taxes that come in, the expenses are still there. The oil and gas industry is still out using the roads, using our infrastructure and that infrastructure needs to be maintained," Wood said.