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Municipal tax increase approved for Lacombe County

Lacombe County has approved a $41.8-million operating budget that calls for a 2.75 per cent increase in municipal tax rates.

Council also approved a $21.6-million capital budget.

Final tax rates won’t be known until the spring when the value of assessed property is known. The county also finds out in the spring what the province’s school requisition will be, which forms a portion of residents’ total property tax bills.

Of the county’s $41.8 million, just over $25 million is funded through property taxation. The rest comes through government grants, user and service fees, investment income and transfers from reserves.

An additional $437,470 is collected to fund the Lacombe Foundation, which provides affordable housing for seniors.

In a news release, county Reeve Ken Wigmore calls spending plans a “fiscally responsible budget meeting our current needs and ensuring consistent service levels for our future.”

County commissioner Terry Hager says the budget maintains the municipality’s position of having one of the lowest property tax rates in Alberta.

“Part of the increase can be attributed to the cost of living, and part to increased service levels in conservation management, weed control, road maintenance and snow plowing.”

The capital budget includes:

• $7.5 million to extend water and sewer services to the industrial park west of Blackfalds

• $6.8 million in capital road projects

• $2.5 million in equipment and vehicle purchases (offset by nearly $800,000 in sales of old equipment)

• $950,000 for broadband Internet.

 
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