According to the City of Airdrie, the 5.97 per cent tax hike on residents will raise an additional $4,116,709 in tax revenue, with nearly half of that revenue going towards the city's protective services which include police, fire, municipal enforcement and emergency management.
"This increase is mainly related to Fire member training and Police, which includes the collective bargaining agreement that provides a salary increase to RCMP members," a city press release stated.
The municipal tax effect on the average residential homeowner with an assessed value of $420,000 is projected to be $118 annually. Airdrie's Mayor Peter brown said that with rising inflation, trying to balance the city's budget has been a challenge.
“Council has not made these decisions lightly, but we believe we struck a balance between being fiscally responsible while also supporting the needs of the community now and in the future," he said.
City Manager, Horacio Galanti underscored that Airdrie continues to be one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada, though it is not immune to the rising costs being experienced around the world.
“Residents and businesses continue to ask for additional services, infrastructure, and amenities in order to maintain a high quality of life in Airdrie. This Council-approved budget takes a step towards the City’s need for reasonable and prudent reserves while providing households and businesses great value for their tax dollar," Galanti said.
In 2021, Council began designating specific tax funds to address the City’s infrastructure deficit. Included in the 2023 Council-approved budget is a $690,000 increase (equivalent to a one percent tax increase) to keep up with the life cycling of City assets.
Shannon Schindeler, Acting Director of Corporate Services and CFO said that this year's budget focuses on supporting current service levels as well as preparing for future community needs.
“In an economic climate of high inflation and shrinking grant dollars, Administration has worked hard to balance the cost to provide services residents depend on."
Each year, the City administration prepares a three-year operating budget and a ten-year capital budget driven by Council’s strategic priorities and business plan goals. During annual budget deliberations, the Council Budget Committee reviews the first year of each budget in detail and reviews subsequent years for possible new services, facilities, or other pressures on the horizon. The current year of each budget is adopted by Council, with subsequent years accepted for information.
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