Town of Stettler passes interim budget, increases taxes 2% each year next three years

Budget a three-year budget

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Independent

Town of Stettler residents will see a two per cent tax increase every year from 2019 – 21 after council passed its $17.7 million interim operating budget Jan. 22.

The two per cent increase means about $36 a year more for the average homeowner.

The 2019 operating budget is $17.7 million, in 2020 its forecast to be $18 million and in 20121 its projected to be $18.4 million.

A large portion of the 2019-21 interim operating budget, 37.84 per cent, goes towards wages. In 2013 the town paid out $4.5 million in salaries in benefits. That number increases to $5.78 million in 2019 and $6.1 million by 2021.

READ MORE: Town of Stettler increases staff Christmas bonuses. Council unanimously votes in favour

The proposed budget summary for 2019-21:

• Proposed Municipal Tax increase of 2 per cent ($112,730)

• Proposed Water Rate increase of $0.01m3 ($2.79 to $2.80) ($5,902)

• Proposed Sewer Rate increase of $0.25 ($22.25 to $22.50) ($6,340)

• Proposed Garbage Rate increase of $0.25 ($23.25 to $23.50) ($6,570)

• Proposed Recycling Rate increase of $0.25 ($6.25 to $6.50) ($6,480)

• Proposed Financial Impact on Average Residential Customer (municipal only) – 1.51 per cent

According to the town’s budget documents on their website, “the administration considers the property tax and utility rate increases included in the 2019 – 2021

Interim Operating Budget to be the minimum necessary given the present and future obligations required in our community. The three-year forecast reflects Administration and Council’s intent to be fiscally responsible and accountable to its residents.”

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its Alberta Municipal Spending Watch Report December 2018 and excessive municipal spending cost households $9,471 in 2016 compared to $1,625 in 2006.

The report, which looked at 182 municipalities, shows that between 2006 and 2016 inflation adjusted municipal spending has increased a whopping 62 per cent. This rate is two and a half times faster than Alberta’s population growth of 24 per cent.

How Alberta municipalities with populations of 1,000 or more were ranked according to their spending sustainability patterns from 2006-16:

(Overall provincial ranking, 1=Best and 182=Worst)

Town of Stettler ranked 103 with a 10 per cent population growth rate and 60 per cent growth in real operating spending and 46 per cent growth in real operating spending per capita.

READ MORE: Many municipalities overspending says CFIB

As of December 2018, Stettler has collected just over $18 million in revenues for the budget year. Revenues are generated by the town using a combination of taxes, user and administration fees and bylaw enforcement, as well as government grants, investments and other sources of funding.

On the expense side of the ledger, the 2018 budget had the town spending $18.6 million in services, facilities, requisitions, and other operational needs. As of the conclusion of the Town of Stettler budget year on Dec. 31, the town had spent a total of $16.5 million, resulting in a nearly $1.5 million surplus.

A portion of the surplus can be attributed to the Capital Expenses budget. During every budget deliberation, a portion of the budget is marked for capital expenses, such as fire fighting equipment, technology upgrades, and even sidewalk repair. These Capital Expenses represented $6.5 million of the 2018, however, due to a number of factors some of these projects were shelved, pushed to the 2019 budget or in some cases were completed under budget resulting in Capital Expenses coming in just over $3.2 million under budget.

Council recently passed the 2019 interim budget which will see an estimated revenue of $18.7 million, and an estimated expense of $17.7 million. While taxes and some service fees will see an increase in 2019, town administration considers the increases “to be the minimum necessary given the present and future obligations required in our community,” as per the 2019 interim budget document.

The final 2019 budget will be completed later in the year.

Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter

Send us news tips to:

Just Posted

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Furever Ours dance coming to Botha

Tickets still left for “Furever Ours” dine and dance

Stettler Lightning prepare to battle Wranglers in playoffs this week

Stettler Lightning finish their regular season with a 14W-14L-7OTL

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read