Turner Valley Council approved its 2022 operating budget on May 4 with no increase to the tax rate.
The Town will see increased revenue coming from higher property values. Assessed property values increased an average of 5.7 per cent, meaning the Town will collect $169,762 more tax revenue than last year, without raising property tax rates.
Residential and non-residential mill rates will stay the same at approximately 7.8 and 8.2 per cent, respectively.
CAO Shawn Patience said the increased revenue from assessments will cover policing costs, plus higher operating expenses, with about half of the extra revenue going to policing.
“Of that just over five per cent increase in assessment, almost (half) of that is actually going strictly to cover those increasing policing costs,” Patience said.
“That amount (for policing) was increased this year to just under $83,000, which represents just under a three per cent increase in our taxes.”
The rest of the increase, about 2.8 per cent, accounts for inflation, employee benefits, and increased fuel and supply costs across the board, he said.
Patience acknowledged there was “a lot of work here to ensure that we’ve kept this increase to a bare minimum,” adding that both administration and council deserve a lot of credit.
The Town’s operating budget was set at about $5.9 million. Despite the extra income from tax revenue, a deficit of nearly $30,000 will be covered from the tax stabilization fund.
Turner Valley held a public engagement meeting with administration and council members on April 26 to share information about the 2022 budget.
During that meeting, Corinne Middleton, manager of finance and corporate services for Turner Valley, said RCMP costs were $54,000 in 2021 and have increased this year.
“That is billed from the (provincial) government and we have to pay that," Middleton said.
She said the Town’s tax revenue has been stable over the last few years.
“If we look at the past five years, this would be the first year where we would see a significant increase in tax revenue," said Middleton.
Although the assessed values are up 5.7 per cent, not all properties will see the same increase in property taxes, she said. Some properties may see a decrease.
“It really depends on your property and how it has been assessed,” she said.
The Town also removed a deferral process for late property tax payments that was brought in during the COVID-19 pandemic.