Stettler passes operating budget with tax increase

The Town of Stettler passed its $18 million 2018 interim operating budget and it means residents will pay two per cent more in property taxes in the New Year.
The increase, approved during council’s regular meeting Dec. 19, translates into about $35.33 more a year for an average home assessed at $265,140.
“The two per cent increase identified in the 2018 interim operating budget is more of a forecast that council considers,” said Assistant Chief Administrative officer (CAO) Steven Gerltiz.
“The interim budget is not used to set definitive property tax rates, rather it is used as the authority to set utility rates for upcoming year and to provide services and programs until the 2018 budget can be passed,” he added.
Utility rates will increase in 2018 by 1.41 per cent, with a $0.25 increase to sewer and garbage rates and a $0.01 increase to the water rate, said Assistant CAO Gerlitz.
This means the same homeowner (based on 17 cubic meters of water/month) will see an increase of $43.37 per year.
The $18 million operating budget includes $17 million in expenditures leaving about a $1 million surplus, which will be rolled into the 2018 capital budget.
“Every year council must balance what is required to maintain our current infrastructure and our high quality of services to our residents with growth, or lack of growth and current economic conditions,” said Assistant CAO Gertlitz.
Council will consider its 2018 capital budget on Jan. 30. The 2018 operating budget, with tax rates, will be adopted in May 2018.
“Each year (2018-20) council will consider approximately $2.6 million in their capital budget,” said Assistant CAO Gerlitz. “This also includes $1.7 million that the town receives from provincial and federal government grants.”
The 2018 interim operating is part of the town’s three-year interim operating budget forecast that projects a two per cent increase in rates for 2018-20.

Dog, cat license fees
Council approved Town of Stettler staff recommendation to keep the dog and cat license fees at 2017 rates. Altered dog or cat – $25; unaltered dog or cat – $50; replacement tag – $10; and a $10 discount for those who pay by Jan. 31, 2018.

Lisa Joy
ECA Review

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