Blackfalds Council approved a 2.9% tax increase for Blackfalds during the regular council meeting of November 28.
The capital budget of $5,390,500, including projects such as the high school football field, Leung Road upgrades, transfer site upgrades, and more, was approved unanimously, with Councilor’s thanking Administration for helping with concerns during budget deliberations.
Mayor Jamie Hoover expressed his appreciation for administration and resident participation in budget decisions and is excited about the projects to come forward from this extensive planning.
“I am very pleased with the thorough budget process that integrated significant feedback from residents and included an ample amount of discussion and deliberation with Administration and Council on the utility rates and the operating capital budget for 2024,” he said. “We were able to find significant efficiencies in our operations again to minimize by more than 0.5% the increase to taxpayers while not only maintaining service levels but adding on some needed staffing positions and increasing some grant funding to support community organizations that provide valuable services to our community.”
Mayor Hoover also added that “2024 will see some improvements to trails and add a football field to support the high school that will open next year. We will also see progress towards improving parking at the Eagle Builders Centre. I am grateful to everyone who contributed to this successful and productive process.”
The operating budget of $33,102,554 2024 was also approved, which will include rate changes to water, wastewater, and solid waste.
The proposed tax increase of 2.9% would equate to a $5.92 per month ($71 per year) increase - on a house valued at $308,000. Naturally, the amount differs depending on market changes like assessed value, renovations or additions, basement developments, etc.
“Administration has worked hard over the last three months to present a budget that reflects the outstanding service levels for residents while also combatting inflationary pressures,” shared Director of Corporate Services Justin de Bresser.
de Bresser accredits the lower tax increase, in part, to the final payment of the Abbey Centre as the complete amount ($5,040,000 in 2016) will be paid off in full this year.
“The ability to prepay the debenture on the Abbey Centre allowed administration to reduce what was originally over a 6% tax increase down to 2.9%,” he explained.