Red Deer County freezes taxes

Second year in a row Red Deer County council votes to hold the line on muncipal tax rate increases

Red Deer County has made it official — no municipal tax rate increases in 2016.

Council gave final approval to its 2016 budget on Tuesday, freezing municipal tax rates for the second year in a row.

Property owners whose homes and land did not increase in value should see no change in the municipal portion of their tax bill.

The school requisition, which the county collects on behalf of the province increased by four per cent overall so total tax bills could go up slightly.

Some good news came on the provincial funding front. The county got more from provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding than anticipated. The county budgeted $5 million but actually got $6.2 million along with some other unexpected grants.

Mayor Jim Wood said the county is also benefiting from good tender prices on its road projects, which will mean savings this year.

Wood said council wanted to hold the line on taxes as a reaction to the difficult economic times.

“We’re in strong financial shape at Red Deer County and we’re able to accomplish what we need to do without a tax increase,” he said. “We don’t see any reduction in service at all.”

“I believe it was well received from the community we talked to (while) recognizing we won’t be able to do this every year.”

Coun. Christine Moore said the county budget went over well.

“I have had good feedback from my residents and I’m sure I’m not alone.”

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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