City council passes lowest tax-increase budget in 10 years
The budget also funds initiatives, like EndPovertyEdmonton and neighbourhood renewal
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Edmonton will face the lowest tax increase it has seen in a decade next year after city council passed the 2016-'18 supplemental budget adjustment Tuesday.
Council finalized this year’s budget talks Tuesday, which resulted in a 2.9 per cent property tax increase in 2017 — down from the proposed 3.1-per-cent hike.
That means the average Edmonton household will pay about $6.59 a day for city services and programs next year — or, an extra $66 yearly in 2017 and $120 in 2018.
City councillors had to make tough decisions prior to the hike and chose to not fund many groups.
For example, council said no to funding Nuit Blanche, Art of Living and Heritage Festival's "out-of-the-box" museum.
However, Edmontonians can still expect major projects to proceed, like EndPovertyEdmonton, which will now begin work on lifting 10,000 residents out of poverty.
Council will also re-invest $22 million — 1.5 per cent of it’s total 1.7 per cent in savings — into neighbourhood renewal, a program that funds repairs to roads, sidewalks and streetlights in roughly 300 aging neighbourhoods.
Mayor Don Iveson said the budget invests in people and infrastructure.
“That’s not an easy feat when you consider 2016 has brought more economic uncertainty to our region and with it, the demands placed on the City of Edmonton have increased,” he said.
Of the 2.9 per cent property tax increase, 0.6 per cent of it will go to the Valley Line LRT expansion.
The tax rate is finalized in the spring after the province sets the education tax.