Red Deerians face a 1.1% tax increase this year after City council approved the rate at this week’s meeting.
The combined tax increase required to fund the municipal tax requirement as well as the requisitioned amounts from Alberta Education and the Piper Creek Foundation result in total tax increases of 1.1% for each residential, multi-family and non-residential property types.
“City council finalizes property tax rates every spring after the Government of Alberta announces the education tax. The City is required to collect to support the education system in Alberta,” said Joanne Parkin, revenue and assessment services manager. “This year the City will collect $44.8 million in property taxes on behalf of the Government of Alberta. This comprises of 29 per cent of the typical residential tax bill.”
The approved $128.3 million municipal property tax requirement will fund the programs and services provided to City of Red Deer residents every day, officials said.
Councillor Tanya Handley was happy about the proposed rate.
“I think this was a positive step when we were landed with the tax rate options that were presented to us that we stuck with seeing the same increase across all types of properties. I think that was a good step for fairness in the community and I was pleased to see our final tax increase number as low as it was,” she said.
Handley said although they continue to hear from the community about having a 0% tax increase, the reality is there are inflationary costs to take care of, and she thinks the City has covered that.
“It was a battle but we got there and the City administration and council worked very hard to get it to that number and I’m pleased to support this,” she said.
Mayor Tara Veer said by the time council deals with the Tax Rate Bylaw it shows just how fluid their budget really is.
“When we were first contemplating the projected budget we were looking at a 3.5 per cent proposed (tax increase) and where we’ve ultimately ended up is 1.12 per cent . Even though it’s a long process in terms of budget, this is the final number among council adoption for 2017 and it’s not in addition to all those other numbers that have been out in the community,” said Veer.
The tax increase means a typical house assessed at $325,000 will pay $2.69 per month more in total property tax. This brings the total annual tax bill to $2,914 from $2,882 in 2016, which is an increase of $32 annually.
“Our municipal taxes are essential to maintaining the services the City provides from the upkeep of our roads and parks, to providing police and emergency services,” said Parkin. “It’s about delivering necessary services for our growing City.”
Property tax notices will be mailed on May 19th. Taxes are due on June 30th. Penalties will be applied to outstanding balances on July 1st (those enrolled in the Tax Installment Plan are exempt). Property tax payments can be made at City Hall, online, at financial institutions, by mail, or through the City’s Tax Instalment Plan.