Blackfalds residents face a 4.7 per cent tax increase next year because of rising costs after zero per cent increases in two of the last three years. (Photo from Town of Blackfalds)

Blackfalds taxes to go up 4.7%

Rising costs made an increase necessary after years of minimal or zero tax increases

Blackfalds residents will see a 4.7 per cent municipal tax rate increase next year after zero increases in two of the last three years.

Council approved the increase as part of a $31.3 million operating budget that reflects the challenges of inflation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was at 6.8 per cent in October, according to a budget report to council.

“These inflationary increases are having a major impact on municipal operations,” says the report from town finance manager Darolee Bouteiller.

Blackfalds Mayor Jamie Hoover said the average four-year tax increase works out to 1.3 per cent, well below CPI.

“Our council and administration have worked very hard since the beginning of the budget deliberation to find reductions in our costs, and we are pleased with the results,” says Hoover in a statement.

“We have kept the property tax increases to 0.6 per cent over the last three years, but the realities this year with significant increases mean that we will have an increase in 2023. Our residents want services to remain similar to 2022, and we believe we have achieved that balance in the upcoming year.”

Justin de Bresser, Blackfalds director of corporate services, said additional policing costs of $423,000 alone represent a 3.8 per cent tax increase. Coupled with increased electricity and natural gas bills, the impact on taxes was 5.82 per cent without other savings being found.

A chart presented to council that charted rising costs for everything from policing to computer systems, electricity bills and waste disposal fees amounted to a 10 per cent tax increase before budget paring began.

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