At its May 9, 2019 meeting, Council approved the Lacombe County 2019 operating and capital budgets and tax rate bylaw.
As indicated in the interim budget, municipal tax rates for 2019 will increase by 2.0 per cent for residential properties, and by 3.5 per cent for farmland and 4.5 per cent for non- residential properties over 2018 rates.
“Lacombe County Council voted to approve a budget for 2019 that recognizes the challenges and uncertainty that Alberta has faced over the past few years,” said Reeve Paula Law. “Maintaining the services our ratepayers expect is crucial, but we have consciously focused on reduced spending and smarter spending, which will be the path we will continue down for the foreseeable future.”
Education taxes will represent 49 per cent of the 2019 tax bill for residential property owners in Lacombe County and 42 per cent of the 2019 tax bill for non-residential property owners.
Based on the new rates, 2019 property taxes on a $400,000 residence in Lacombe County will be $2,038.60, which is an increase of $32.00 from 2018.
Residential property owners who experienced a decrease in the market value of their properties of greater than 1.59% will see a reduction in their property taxes. Property taxes are due on August 31, 2019.
The 2019 operating budget of $60,545,150 includes $405,990 for the Lacombe Foundation requisition and $338,084 for the designated industrial property requisition, as well an estimated $12,415,844 for the Alberta Education Requisition. In addition to including the final requisition estimates, several minor changes have been made to the operating budget as part of this final approval:
- Increase in revenue due to management and administrative services now being provided by County staff to the Sylvan Lake Regional Wastewater Services Commission in the amount to $84,940;
- Additional lease and sales of supplies revenue of $74,500;
- Reduction in expenses for line painting and chip sealing due to lower tender pricing resulting in savings of $144,030; and
- Increase in WCB premium expenses of $45,150.
The capital budget of $20,028,810 was also approved by Council. In addition to projects included in the interim capital budget, the final capital budget also includes:
- Manhole replacement work in Mirror for $13,300;
- Funding for engineering and design work for the construction of the Lockhart Road and Centreview Road in the amount of $42,700; and
- Lower costs for bridge work of $967,560 due to lower tender pricing.
Maximizing Value for Residents
As in past years, Lacombe County Council directed that municipal tax rate increases be as low as possible, while still providing sustainable funding for operating and capital expenses in the year ahead and ensuring that Lacombe County infrastructure, assets and services are maintained at appropriate levels.
County Manager Tim Timmons stated that, “The County continues to ensure that its natural, financial and physical resources are managed in ways that provide maximum value for ratepayers.”
He added: “the 2019 operating budget, capital budget, and municipal tax rates have been established in a manner which provides for the continued delivery of a high level of important services and programs for our citizens in the most cost- effective manner possible.”