County of Wetaskiwin Council approved the Operating and Capital Budget for 2021 on May 18, 2021. The Mill Rate Bylaw for 2021 was also approved in the same council session.
The County’s 2021 budget value is $20.19 million. In 2020 the value of the County budget was $19.4 million.
For the 2021 budget County Council approved a zero per cent increase on residential municipal taxes. This means that the average residential ratepayer will see a zero per cent increase to the municipal portion of their taxes on their tax notice.
This may vary however, for properties that have experienced an increase or decrease in market value. Overall ratepayers will see residential taxes go up by 1.84 per cent due to increases in RCMP tax requisition and recreation.
The average non-residential commercial ratepayer will see a 6.02 increase in their tax notice.
“Council has worked very hard to hold the line on taxes in the 2021 Budget with as little impact as possible to your level of service” said Reeve Josh Bishop.
“Factors outside our control may impact the total taxes you pay such as provincial policing and recreation agreements. We are very cognizant of the challenges our ratepayers are faced with and have incorporated other changes to lessen the impacts on you.”
The County says that the RCMP Tax Requisition (Provincial Policing Cost) will appear as a separate line item on your tax notice.
This is to cover the additional cost of policing due to the Government of Alberta changes to the police funding model. This year, the County of Wetaskiwin is required to pay $427,506, which represents two per cent of your overall taxes.
Provincial government legislation requires all municipalities to collect education property taxes on behalf of the province. The County also collects on behalf of the Wetaskiwin and Area Lodge Authority for seniors housing facilities.
For 2021, approximately 44 per cent of residential taxes are to be transferred to the province for education purposes, and three per cent fro Lodge Authority purposes.
In the 2021 budget the County has also made reductions to gravelling, mowing, and brushing programs as well as reduction to building maintenance and oiling budgets.
Other items that have been approved for the 2021 budget include a five per cent reduction in County Council salaries, $500,000 increase for road construction, $400,000 increase in recreation for Intermunicipal Recreation Agreements and the Winfield Arena, and STARS Air Ambulance donation to increase from $1.00 to $1.50 per capita.