Lacombe raising residential taxes by 2.8%

Council meets goal of keeping tax increase within Consumer Price Guide change

Higher-than-expected growth helped Lacombe keep residential tax rate increases in step with inflation.

City council has made its goal to keep municipal tax rate increases at or below the Consumer Price Index, which measures how much costs have gone up for a set basket of items.

“Council is pleased to be able to continue delivering essential services and programs that protect and enhance the quality of life for our residents at a reasonable cost,” said Mayor Grant Creasey.

“I am pleased that the city remains steadfast in its promise to keep tax increases at or below the CPI.”

Like many central Alberta communities, residential property values declined over the past year because of the province’s slow economic recovery. In Lacombe, residential property values went down 2.7 per cent and non-residential properties fell 1.2 per cent.

However, both new residential and non-residential growth topped budget projections. The city forecast growth would add another $116,397 of revenues, but the actual number is $200,463.

The higher-than-anticipated assessment growth allowed city administration to transfer the increased revenue into general capital and maintain the property tax rate increase at 2.8 per cent.

“Like many communities, Lacombe was impacted by a slower economy in 2018,” said chief administrative officer Matthew Goudy. “Council took steps to limit expenses, and maintain a conservative approach to taxation.”

The owner of a typical house assessed at $380,006 will pay $4,047, an increase of $138 from last year. The typical non-residential property assessed at $773,069 will see an increase of $361, bringing the tax bill up to $9,931.

In addition to levying municipal property taxes, the city also collects money on behalf of the Lacombe Foundation, the Alberta School Foundation Fund and the St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Separate Regional Division.

“The provincial election posed a problem for city administration as the school requisition figures were not available,” said Justin de Bresser, senior manager of financial services. “We have estimated the levy increases based on historic averages.”

Tax notices will be mailed by the end of May, with the deadline to pay without penalty being July 2.

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