After careful analysis of last week’s provincial budget, Rocky View County is confident it will be able to adjust to changes without a major impact on municipal property taxes.
“There’s no question the new provincial budget will have an effect. But Rocky View County starts from a position of low taxes, tightly-controlled spending, and the right level of programs and services for our residents. When you’re already aligned with the provincial government’s objectives, it makes it much easier to adapt to budget challenges,” said Reeve Greg Boehlke.
The only area of the provincial budget that will have a notable impact on the County are reductions in Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding. The provincial MSI program supports the construction of roadways, bridges, recreation centres, and similar capital projects.
“We’ve kept up with our infrastructure needs, and we have even used our own money to accelerate road and recreation projects that benefit the entire region,” Reeve Boehlke said. “The loss of MSI funding will have limited impact in 2020, but may slow the implementation of some new capital projects in 2021 and beyond. We accept that as the reality of the economic conditions Alberta faces.”
Although Rocky View County consists of only 40,000 residents, it represents the fifth largest municipal economic assessment base in the province. The County has worked diligently to create healthy, well-planned residential communities and a strong business and commercial base that is the envy of municipalities throughout the province.
The strength of the County’s economy should allow it to accommodate provincial budget changes without substantial property tax increases for residents or business owners. Over the past week, County staff have been working to adjust budgets and spending plans to account for the changes, and the County will be able to deliver a 2020 budget that is in line with standard growth and inflation rates.
“I know our residents and business owners will appreciate knowing that – at most – we will only be looking to cover inflation,” Reeve Boehlke said. “Whether it’s federal, provincial, or municipal spending, in the end it’s all one taxpayer. I’m very proud that Rocky View County’s Council and our County staff are doing our part to ensure a healthy economy, good jobs, affordable taxes, and an outstanding quality of life for residents.”