Property taxes have increased for 2018, as residential property assessments have gone down. The City’s budget for 2018 has been waiting for the final mill rate calculation, that is based on the assessed value of properties and the amount the City needs to operate its services.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says that it’s important that people know how much it costs to operate a City and that this year’s budget was about rebalancing the books.
“The challenging part that I see with this job is trying to balance providing what the community is looking for, what they want, what they’ve come to expect, yet who is going to pay the bill.”
According to the City, a property assessed at 350,000 in 2017 is now being assessed at $332,000, decreasing in assessment by 5.12 per cent. Therefore, to balance the costs for the City, the mill rate is increasing by 5.70 per cent for a total of 11.41 per cent. Property owners will see a monthly impact of $14.45 due to the increased mill rate.
Aalbers says that the assessment for properties did go down on average 1.6 per cent, therefore the City needs a 1.6 per cent tax increase to stay balanced.
“At the end of the day, it is a mathematical function. The City needs $35 million dollars and we have X number of millions of billions of dollars of assets, there’s a mill rate calculation and the mill rate is up a little bit this year.”
He adds that the Alberta government has increased costs that are affecting the City, however there was no additional funding provided by either provincial governments.