Council adopts 2017 budget with 0.63 per cent tax increase
Thursday, Dec 08, 2016 06:00 am
Airdrie City council adopted a $130.3 million operating budget and $37.5 million capital budget for 2017 during its Dec. 5 meeting.
Of that money, $310,320 will be generated from taxes, meaning a 0.63 per cent property tax increase for residents. The increase will add approximately 86 cents per month to the average homeowner’s tax bill, according to Lucy Wiwcharuk, the City’s director of corporate services.
Council’s decision came approximately one week after the Council Budget Committee finished 2017 budget deliberations, which was a two-day process.
“I thought it was an excellent process this year. I thought there was great dialogue amongst the members, people were encouraged to share,” Mayor Peter Brown said during the council meeting.
“It was great to see so much dialogue between the members, and the feedback we received and the level of detail that was asked for and responded to by our management team was very, very high.”
Councillor Darrell Belyk said after budget deliberations wrapped up some residents accused councillors of suggesting a low tax increase because next year is a municipal election year.
“I would just like to point out that no, the election never came into it,” Belyk said. “A lot of tough decisions have been made for this year, largely because of economic times.
“We’re looking at the welfare of the citizens of Airdrie, rather than our own personal gains for next year’s election.”
Council also approved no increase to franchise fee rates in 2017. Residents in comparable municipalities pay approximately 20 per cent for franchise fee rates while Airdrie residents pay 13 per cent.
Franchise fees affect anyone paying a utility bill, including homeowners, churches, schools, renters and governments (provincial and federal) that are exempt from paying municipal taxes.
Council accepted 2018-19 operating plans and 2018 to 2026 capital plans for information during the meeting as well.
Airdrie residents will see a 7.2 per cent increase to water and sewer fees in 2017 but those rates are set by the City of Calgary, not the City of Airdrie.
Shannon Schindeler, the City’s manager of treasury and utility, said the average homeowner’s bill with 15 cubic metres of consumption is set to increase by more than $6.
Council gave first, second and third readings to the 2017 water and sewer bylaws during the meeting.
Waste and recycling fees will be amended in April following the rollout of the City’s curbside recycling program, which will add approximately $7 to the average homeowner’s bill.
- with files from Christina Waldner