Sylvan Lake property owners to pay $383 more in taxes and utilities for 2018

Sylvan Lake property owners will be looking at an annual utility and tax increase of about $383 in 2018.

The Town of Sylvan Lake adopted its 2018 budget with a 1.97 per cent increase for residential and non-residential ratepayers. That means an average home assessed at $350,000 will look at an annual property tax hike of $42. This number does not include school tax increase, which will be released in spring.

Mayor Sean McIntyre said the 1.97 per cent increase is less than what was previously anticipated. The fall budget deliberations had a 2.96 per cent increase projected for this year.

Residents can go online at sylvanlake.ca/taxes and click on my property on the left to calculate property tax and assessment by inserting their address.

Sylvan Lake property owners will look at paying $146 in utilities per month – an increase of about $28 in 2018. That would work out to be about $1,752 per year for an average property assessed at $350,000.

McIntyre said utilities are self-funded, which means the town charges exactly what it costs the municipality to operate the services.

“The increases we are facing now is due to maintenance and replacement of old lines and changing the way we treat our sewage in our lagoons to regional pipeline, which will end up with the City of Red Deer,” he said, referring to the regional wastewater treatment facility.

“It’s important that we replace that infrastructure as it comes of age.”

Sylvan Lake’s operating budget for 2018 is set approximately at $34.5 million, down from $37.4 million last year. The capital budget for 2018 is set at $15.7 million up from approximately $11 million last year.

Joanne Gaudet, communication officer for the Town of Sylvan Lake, said an average Sylvan Lake home uses less water at 18 cubic metres annually from the national average at 20 cubic metres.

Tax increase and utilities combined, Sylvan Lake residents are looking at $383 annual increase per home. The tax increase this year from 0.02 per cent in 2017 is not significant, said Gaudet.

“It’s based on growth – a fairly fast paced growth – although slower than what we’re used to. The increase at 1.97 per cent is responsible and minimal increase given the costs and expectations for the delivery of services,” she said.

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