By Dave Mabel
Faced with crumbling roads and bridges, Lethbridge County is proposing a new tax on livestock and farming operations.
The county will need to collect an extra $3.5 million each year to maintain its “market access network,” officials say. They’re suggesting a per-head tax on livestock across the county, plus “special taxes” on irrigated and dry farmland.
Those taxes will start this year but a series of “open house” sessions explaining the situation will be held, beginning Monday in Nobleford.
County personnel are responsible for maintaining about 2,000 kilometres of roadways and 167 bridges, officials point out. Most were designed for the much-lighter trucks used on rural roads 50 years ago, and more than 20 per cent have passed their expected service life and are starting to fail.
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