County of Wetaskiwin Council approved the operating and capital budget for 2023 on Dec. 20, at their regular council meeting.
The total budget for the County of Wetaskiwin is $51.7 million with $23.2 million coming from municipal tax support.
The $51.7 million will cover all expected municipal operations, capital projects and requisitions that the county collects on behalf of the Wetaskiwin and Area Lodge Authority for seniors housing facilities and Government of Alberta for education and provincial RCMP costs.
In 2023, the provincial RCMP costs are set to increase from $534,077 to $783,659.
Overall, the average municipal residential taxes — based on a $315,000 assessment, will increase by 3.99 per cent which includes the increase from the provincial government for RCMP funding.
The county’s mill rate will be set in 2023 following the tabling of the provincial budget and the provincial assessment numbers and education requisition are received.
“Early on in the budget process this year council had set a target of a 4 per cent increase including the RCMP requisition increase of 47 per cent. A rather tall order considering all the financial impacts facing the county,” says County Reeve Josh Bishop.
The county states the 2023 budget maintains a consistent level of service for county residents based on the council strategic plan and recognizes impacts inflation has had on all services provided by the county.
“This budget will take the long game approach by raising the rates much less than the current inflation rate knowing that a steady rate over a few years will be easier to absorb than a large, hopefully one year, inflation spike.”