Lacombe County residents could see a two per cent tax rate increase next year.
Council approved $55.2-million operating and $15.8-million capital budgets recently.
Besides the residential tax rate increase, the budget proposes a 3.5 per cent increase for farmland and 4.5 per cent for all other properties. Tax rates will be finalized in the spring, after assessments are completed and the amount the county has to collect in provincial education taxes is determined.
“Lacombe County council voted to approve a budget for 2019 that recognizes the challenges and uncertainty that Alberta has faced since the economic downturn started – from a municipal, ratepayer and industry perspective,” said county manager Tim Timmons.
“Less spending and smarter spending was our focus, and is the path we will continue down for the foreseeable future.”
Given the economic picture, the county has sharply reduced its capital spending. The $15.8 million in capital spending is down just over $13 million from last year’s budget.
County Reeve Paula Law said the budget maintains service levels, but reflects the financial realities Alberta’s municipalities are facing.
“Council felt this budget will balance the reality of the uncertainties surrounding managing a municipality with the expectations of our ratepayers.”