Lacombe County property tax up 2.5 per cent

Lacombe County residents will see a 2.5 per cent tax increase next year.

An owner of a $400,000 residential property can expect to see their municipal tax bill rise by $24.40; all other properties will see a 4.5 per cent increase on property tax.

Residential property tax rose by one per cent last year, which added an additional $9.70 to residents’ municipal bills.

An additional $322,300 was transferred from the tax stabilization reserve to keep the tax rate increase down in 2018.

This comes after Lacombe County council approved its interim operating and capital budgets for next year.

The county’s operating budget is set at $56.3 million and the capital budget $26.6 million, which is up about $7 million from last year’s budget.

“Council felt this budget will allow Lacombe County to take advantage of the competitive pricing environment for new infrastructure projects, while protecting our existing infrastructure assets,” said Tim Timmons, manager of corporate services.

The capital budget includes a partnership with the City of Lacombe to extend water and wastewater services to county lands west of Hwy 2, with the county’s share totalling about $7.4 million.

The budget also includes $4.5 million for the construction and rehabilitation of 19 kilometres of local roads, $10.3 million for an additional 21 kilometres of road paving projects and $54,000 of infrastructure improvements to the Hamlet of Mirror’s wastewater storage system.

County Reeve Paula Law said each year council looks to balance present needs and future growth.

“Council felt this budget will balance the reality of managing a municipality with the expectations of our ratepayers,” said Law.

The interim operating and capital budgets are approved every December, but the final budgets and tax rates are not set until the following spring.

This is because the county won’t know what the province’s education requisition will be until then.

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