(File photo)

(File photo)

County of Stettler approves 3 per cent tax increase

The County of Stettler council has approved a three per cent tax increase for 2022.

In 2022, County of Stettler expenses are budgeted to be just under $31.5 million, with about $13 million of those funds coming transfers, grants, service fees, and other revenue sources besides taxes.

The remaining $18.5 million will be collected through the county tax rolls.

A three per cent increase to taxes, based on 2021 assessments, will generate around $367,000 new revenue for the county.

“We have seen costs rising to the county,” said Coun. Les Stulberg.

“This is fairly conservative … It’s half a grader. It’s not a lot of dollars.”

Of the $18.5 million, not all of it will be kept by the county.

Similar to the Town of Stettler, the province gives requisitions to the county every year which the county then must collect on their behalf.

In 2022, the county’s education requisition for residential and farmland is just over $2 million, and for non-residential is just under $1.9 million.

The requisition for the Stettler Housing Authority is around $650,000, and the requisition for Designated Industrial Property is just over $41,000.

Another complicating factor is the quickly escalating police funding model introduced by the province in 2019. Introduced to have rural municipalities help pay for law enforcement in the province, the first year of the program collected $145,000 in 2021 before jumping to $218,000 in 2021.

In 2022, the policing requisition is jumping to around $290,500 before climbing to $436,000 in 2023.

The tax bylaw passed all three required readings and tax notices will be sent out over the next several weeks.

In addition to the tax bylaw, which affects all county residents, council also approved a Special Tax Levy for Buffalo Sands and Buffalo View Estates which imposes a $528 per year special tax on all lots not connected to the county’s water or sewer services.

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