Zero per cent tax increase possible says taxpayers’ association

Operational budget under discussion

Red Deer Taxpayers’ Association says a zero per cent tax increase for 2018 is an attainable goal for the city.

President Jason Stephan said over the past 10 years the city’s operational spending has significantly outstripped the city’s combined population and inflation growth and resulted in a $100-million gap.

That means the city’s $361.5-million operational budget could have been $100 million less had the city kept spending in line with inflation and population increases, he said.

“Normal households and businesses in Red Deer haven’t spent in the same way the city has. We’d like to see some discipline here which has been lacking,” Stephan said on Wednesday.

This week city council began discussing the budget which comes with a tax increase of no more than two per cent if approved.

He said spending in the last 10 years has translated into lost opportunities, for example funding a new aquatic centre that a large segment of the population wants.

No one is arguing that the city needs to focus on policing and safety priorities, but it could re-allocate its current spending, he said.

“The assumption they seem to be working from is all their other spending is perfect and good and necessary. Instead of looking to increase taxes during this really hard and challenging economic time, the city should look within itself to see where it can save money to address those priorities.”

Stephan said it’s important for council to look out for the interests of taxpayers and ask city manager Craig Curtis to be a wise and careful steward of taxpayers’ dollars.


Just Posted

128 Flags of Remembrance now flying in Sylvan Lake until Nov. 12

Centennial Park boasts 128 Canadian flags to honour 128,000 Canadians killed and missing in action.

Fall Food Drive set for Saturday in Red Deer

Organized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Red Deer is counting down to CFR 45

Jointly hosted by Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce and Westerner Park

Mirror fire department still short volunteers

Fire department will close if volunteers can’t be found

Emazing Bike tour hits Red Deer

Cross-Canada electric bike tour to break world record

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as… Continue reading

Tiger Woods winning adds to Ryder Cup buzz

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Already the most intense competition in golf, the Ryder… Continue reading

Ex-Sabres captain Brian Gionta retires after 16 NHL seasons

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Brian Gionta has retired after 16 NHL seasons, two… Continue reading

Curling season kicks off after massive shake-up of multiple men’s teams

With so many top Canadian men’s curling teams opening this season with… Continue reading

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

OTTAWA — Newly released figures show Canadian officials have removed only a… Continue reading

Texas prisons often deny dentures to inmates with no teeth

HOUSTON — Inmates without teeth in Texas are routinely denied dentures because… Continue reading

Sex assault charge stayed against one British sailor, trial proceeds for other

HALIFAX — The Crown has stayed a sexual assault charge against a… Continue reading

Most Read