Blackfalds council approves $28.5M budget with 1.5% tax increase

BLACKFALDS – During the Dec. 8 regular council meeting, the 2021 operating budget of $28,579,080 was approved, anticipating a 1.5 per cent property tax increase.

The 2021 Operating Budget was prepared and reviewed through a collective process that began in the early fall. Over the past few months, administration and council had various discussions, presentations, and budget workshops regarding the budget and allowed administration and council to review the budget with compromise.

“The approval of the budget was the conclusion of a process that lasted several months, during which all councillors had the opportunity to provide input and bring forward changes that they would like to see incorporated,” said Mayor Richard Poole.

“Last night’s presentation provided an accurate summary of this process and I feel council made the correct and responsible choice by passing this budget.”

As a result of the 1.5 per cent increase, the average house valued at $286,000 will experience a $35 per year increase or $2.91 per month. This excludes the Alberta School Foundation Fund.

With the ever-changing effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic in mind, Director of Corporate Services Justin de Bresser expressed reassurance that Administration will have the ability to re-visit and re-evaluate the budget before council approves the tax rate bylaw with the intent to amend if required. 

“Administration is very pleased to balance the 2021 Operating Budget with a minimal increase in property taxes,” said de Bresser. “We will be monitoring the current economic conditions with the intent of bringing the budget back to council in the spring; this will enable the elected officials to provide further feedback ahead of the approval of the Property Tax Rate Bylaw.”

-news@reddeertimes.ca