County of Wetaskiwin finalizes 2019 budget May 17

Council approved average residential tax increase of 1.5 per cent, average non-residential zero

County of Wetaskiwin councilors updated and finalized their 2019 budget through approval of the various mill and tax rates at their regular Planning and Economic Development council meeting May 17.

The agenda item was presented to councilors by CAO Rod Hawken and Director of Finance Eric Hofbauer.

Hawken explained that the previous plan to pass residential, non-residential and a new emergency services mill rate hit a snag.

Councilors previously approved an average overall tax increase of 1.5 per cent but Hawken noted the ratios needed to achieve this were affected by the new emergency services mill rate. Councilors decided earlier this year that emergency services costs would be spread out across all property owners in the county through a new mill rate.

Councilors had several options open to them May 17, but decided to stay the course with their previous decisions. They approved an average residential tax increase of 1.5 per cent, and an average non-residential tax increase of zero per cent.

Hawken stated by phone May 21 the councilors decided to merge the firefighting mill rate into the regular mill rate, and will not appear as a separate item on tax bills.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

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