(Advocate file photo).

Red Deer City council to ask DBA to reduce its 2020 budget, based on business hardship

The previous budget was conceived before the pandemic

Red Deer city council put off approving a downtown business tax levy on Monday.

Several councillors felt an increase in the taxes downtown businesses pay to the Downtown Business Association would be out of sync with the hard times many businesses are now facing.

Since the DBA formulated its 2020 budget before the pandemic forced many local businesses on temporary shut-down, council decided to hand the budget back to the DBA for reconsideration.

Coun. Vesna Higham said the DBA’s budget should be pared down, not only to last year’s numbers, but even lower, based on the harsh conditions many businesses are experiencing.

City manager Allan Seabrooke said the difference between the DBA’s 2019 and 2020 budget was only $10,000, so he felt a recalculation could be achieved so that higher bills for the DBA’s tax levy would not have to be sent out.

Council expects to make a decision, based on a new DBA budget, sometime in the next two weeks.

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