Town of Bashaw property owners may see an increase on their tax bill after councillors approved a projected increase of 3.97 per cent within their 2022 operating budget. The decision was made at the May 2 regular meeting.
Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller presented councillors with the proposed 2022 operating budget, noting it had been adjusted after April 19 discussions.
During discussion Fuller stated the proposed operating budget included a 3.97 per cent projected municipal property tax increase, and she included a summary of how this could affect property owners.
Based on random samplings, Fuller’s projections included dollar increases for high residential property ($154.55), medium high residential ($212.31), mid residential ($92.77), medium low residential ($44.79), low residential ($21.15), high non-residential ($97.88), mid high non-residential ($246.54), mid non-residential ($86.29), mid low non-residential ($62.56) and low non-residential ($37.18).
Coun. Kyle McIntosh asked how much of that increase was the provincial government's education requisition, to which Mayor Rob McDonald answered none.
The mayor was apparently pointing out the education tax would be on top of the municipal increase.
Fuller confirmed this by stating the 3.97 per cent was only the municipal operating budget increase, the provincial education tax was not included.
During discussion Coun. Bryan Gust voiced his conflict over the operating budget including a tax increase.
“It’s hard to say...I’m in favour,” said Gust.
Mayor McDonald noted he didn’t like it either but difficult decisions had to be made. “Unfortunately it’s the world we live in right now,” said McDonald.
McDonald noted the town has to deal with the rising cost of inflation, plus rising policing costs and said of the increase, “It’s understandable.”
Her report noted adjustments made to the 2022 operating budget included utility penalty revenue, firefighter honorarium paid out last year, general supplies in the fire department adjusted from $3,000 to $2,000, museum insurance adjusted, increased septic receiving station revenue and increased the arena revenue by about $1,500.
Readers should note property tax bills are affected by more than the municipal mill rate and requisitions; property value also affects the dollar amount on the final bill.
Councillors unanimously approved the 2022 operating budget with the project property tax increases. They also unanimously passed all readings of the 2022 tax rate bylaw to bring it into effect.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review