Feedlot operators head back to court to appeal Lethbridge County head tax – Calgary

Southern Alberta feedlot owners are headed back to court to fight a head tax implemented by Lethbridge County in 2016 on livestock in their jurisdiction. 

On Wednesday a group of eight companies filed an appeal on the decision made by Justice Rodney Jerke in April that the $3-per-head tax — officially known as the county’s business tax — was permitted under the Alberta Municipal Government Act. 

“In my estimation, it is the beginning of the end of intensive livestock in the county of Lethbridge,” said Rick Paskal, president of Van Raay Paskal Farms Ltd., one of the companies involved.

“If they win this appeal, it is the death [of] value-added industries and, in our case, the cattle-feeding industry in southern Alberta.”

The April decision did rule that a second tax added by the county in 2016 wasn’t permitted, called the special tax. The county estimates that the loss of that expected revenue is roughly $700,000. 

Both taxes were brought in by the…

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