Stettler County approved its $24.6 million 2018 budget with a shortfall of about $801,503.
Residents will see a one per cent increase for residential and a two per cent increase for farmland, non-residential and machinery and equipment classes. Council approved their three-year budget during its regular meeting May 9. The county continues to see a drop in tax revenue because the province adjusted tax base modifiers for assessment of linear tax and machinery and equipment.
“Our 2018 budget and our 2019 and 2020 budget plans shows continued fiscal responsibility predicting continued but not as drastic losses in linear and machinery and equipment taxation for the coming year,” said Chief Administrative Officer Yvette Cassidy in her report to council.
The county has put off making any major capital purchases. This year’s capital budget includes replacing a portion of the fire department’s two-way radio system. The amount of gravel operations contracted will be reduced and the county will return to using in house forces.
There was a public budget open house on April 17.
The county, however, has a larger surplus than previously anticipated. When they did the 2017 budget they projected a $3.69 million surplus but at the end of 2017 it was $6.49 million.