Innisfail council approved a four per cent tax rate increase this week as it responds to “inflationary pressures.”
The town has only raised taxes twice in the previous eight years but the rising operating costs all municipalities are wrestling with this year called for more tax dollars. The increase will add around $96 on the municipal portion of a typical tax bill. School tax numbers will not be available until next spring.
Residents will also see small increases on their utility bills.
Council approved a $25.8 million operating budget and a $4.3 million capital budget for 2023.
“We are sensitive to how the current economic situation is affecting many people in our community,” said Mayor Jean Barclay in a statement.
“Many difficult decisions had to be made through our budget deliberations and council and administration worked diligently in balancing fiscal responsibility, service levels, with ensuring we continue to move forward as a municipality.
“We will continue to see upgrades to our infrastructure this year, and we are able to continue providing the exceptional services our residents deserve.”
As a result of rising costs, the town has reduced its capital spending plans by $2.8 million compared with this year’s budget. The town will also tap into $847,000 in provincial grants and $470,000 from the federal government.
“The Town faces many challenges ensuring facilities and equipment continue to operate effectively, especially as capital costs continue to rise,” says a news release.
Among the big ticket items are:
•$1.3 million for road work
•$775,000 for 46th Avenue infrastructure replacement
•$730,000 for Aquatic Centre maintenance repairs
•$418,000 40th Street Close scan and road replacement