Better-than-expected numbers help Sylvan Lake lower tax hike

Sylvan Lake residents will get a little tax relief.

Sylvan Lake residents will get a little tax relief.

Council had expected to boost taxes 2.47 per cent for 2016.

That was based on the expectation growth in the community would add about $70 million in assessment to the tax base. The numbers came in better than projected — $88 million — allowing council to reduce the tax increase to 1.9 per cent, which includes both municipal and school taxes.

For a typical Fox Run subdivision home assessed at $389,200, residents will see their tax bill increase by $112.83 to $3,333.49.

Mayor Sean McIntyre found the diversity of the community’s growth encouraging.

“Typically, we do see more residential development in Sylvan Lake than any other kind of development,” he said. “But more recently, we’ve been pleased to see more non-residential development occurring and we hope that the trend will continue.”

Assessments are tallied at the beginning of July of the previous year.

The outlook for next year’s budget looks pretty good so far, but how the current economic slowdown will affect growth numbers over the next three months is unknown.

“The growth we have seen this year has certainly been a welcome surprise,” he said. “Given the economic circumstances, we expected less.”

Non-residential taxes will go up 1.5 per cent even though council stuck to a pledge to freeze the municipal tax rate. Since school taxes went up 6.1 per cent the combined tax increase comes in at 1.5 per cent.

A small portion of taxes also goes to the Sylvan Lake Foundation.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com