Lacombe property owners can expect tax increase

The average homeowner in Lacombe may face a $108 increase in property taxes this year.

The average homeowner in Lacombe may face a $108 increase in property taxes this year.

Lacombe city council passed the first reading of the proposed 2012 municipal tax rate bylaw at its last meeting.

For a typical home in Lacombe assessed at $254,000, the tax bill would increase to $2,420 from $2,312, a difference of $108 or three per cent.

Michael Minchin, City of Lacombe corporate services director, said new construction and budget tightening allowed the municipality to keep the increase to three per cent.

“We were trying to keep that within our expectation of what inflation would be,” he said. “We have traditionally been averaging between 2.5 and three per cent over the last few years. That’s been our target.”

Minchin said school taxes included in the bill will increase by $44 or 7.22 per cent as a result of the rising equalized assessments and a freeze on the provincial school tax rate.

Minchin said while the school tax only takes up 28 per cent of the tax bill, this increase was the biggest frustration for the municipality.

“We’re trying to keep our municipal taxes in check with the demands we have,” said Minchin. “Then the school tax comes by. It’s taking just about 40 per cent of the tax increase this year.”

The tax bylaw will go back to city council for second and third reading at the May 14 regular council meeting.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com