City of Lacombe council is considering a 5.4 per cent tax increase. (Black Press file photo)

Lacombe proposes 5.4% tax increase

Council also considering a 1% special paving tax

Lacombe taxpayers could be looking at a 5.4 per cent tax increase for 2023.

City council took a first look at its draft $45.9 million operating and $10.3 million capital budgets on Monday.

The operating budget proposes a 5.4 per cent tax increase, which is based on a council policy to tie tax increases to the rate of inflation. It is based on the 12-month Alberta consumer price index (CPI) as of July 1, 2022. It is expected to generate another $864,000 in revenue.

Staff wage increases are also tied to the CPI.

City council is also proposing a new one per cent special paving tax, which would generate about $160,000 to go towards roads project. Another $100,000 in new taxes due to growth is also built into the budget.

The budget also includes a projected $560,000 increase in goods and services, including $70,000 more for gasoline, reflecting soaring fuel costs.

Council expects to debate the operating and capital budgets, which would likely be passed in late November of mid-December.

The capital budget includes 32 projects, including $5.6 million for the capital works program, $1.1 million to replace city fleet vehicles, $550,000, $500,000 for a fire hall to replace a fire engine, $200,000 for a ladder truck, $90,000 for a command truck and $90,000 to upgrade fire department radios.

Another $425,000 has been set aside for the Trinity Crossing Park and playground.

The capital budget anticipates $2.87 million in grant funding, $6.04 million from reserve funds, $690,000 from other sources and $750,000 in borrowing.

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