Sylvan Lake passes budget

Sylvan Lake council opts for 0.2 per cent tax rate increase

Sylvan Lake council will virtually hold the line on taxes next year.

Council’s three-year budget passed on Monday night calls for a 0.2 per cent tax increase for residential and non-residential ratepayers.

On a typical property assessed at $332,500 for 2017, the municipal tax bill will remain at just over $1,900. That does not include school taxes, which won’t be known until the spring.

Utility rate increases will increase about $21 a month, to $97 monthly.

Sylvan Lake’s operating budget for next year is $37.4 million, up from $35.5 million the previous year. The capital budget is $11.7 million.

The tax rate increase is much lower than the 2.96 per cent that council had pencilled in for 2017 when it passed its last three-year budget in 2015.

That increase was based on a projected 4.5 per cent population growth. Now, the town believes the number will be closer to 1.5 per cent and projected assessment growth has been reduced to $40 million from the original $60 million prediction.

Town council says the budget focuses on essentials; the opening of the NexSource Recreation Centre in the spring, and necessary projects identified in a 2015 infrastructure study.

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