Rocky View County (RVC) Council has amended the Mater Rates Bylaw which will see a three per cent increase in water and wastewater services rates.

The change, which was accepted by the council at the end of April, went into effect at the beginning of this month.

Byron Riemann, the Executive Director of Operations, explained the county will see around $200,000 in additional revenue. Originally presented to the council was a five per cent increase.

"When we had delivered a report earlier to the council, our initial proposal was five per cent. The council was uncomfortable with that and so they've all agreed to a three per cent start for 2024."

If the five per cent increase was implemented they would have seen a revenue increase of about $350,000. According to Riemann, the reason for the increase is to try and keep par with the prices of everything else going up.

Just recently, the RVC Council solidified its 2024 Operating and Capital Budget, marking a zero per cent tax increase. This decision reflects the council's acute awareness of prevailing economic conditions and a commitment to easing financial burdens on residents.

The budget planning process foresaw an increase in tax revenue based on anticipated County growth. However, the actual growth, primarily driven by new developments, exceeded initial projections by over eightfold, resulting in an additional $9,206,900 in tax revenue. Notably, the surge in new construction, particularly in the non-residential sector, spurred this unexpected growth.

The council also approved a budget adjustment of $6,552,800 to transfer net tax to the Tax Stabilization Reserve.

"It's to make sure that that surplus is being put councils rainy day fund sorta speak. If they want to use it down the line they will be allowed to or they may leave it in there for future aspirations." 

The 2024 budget prioritizes addressing infrastructural and service demands stemming from a burgeoning community. Key adjustments approved by the Council include funding for strategic investments aimed at enhancing service levels across departments.

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