January 2018 News Archive

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2018 Operating Budget focuses on community safety

January 19, 2018 5:42 PM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

City Council approved a $364 million operating budget today with a 2.02 per cent tax increase. This 2.02 per cent increase in the operating budget is made up of 0.91 per cent for operating costs, and 1.0 per cent for capital investment for amenities and growth plus 0.11 per cent for provincial carbon tax. 

“In response to the needs expressed by our citizens to focus on community safety initiatives, Council was presented with a challenge to invest in community safety items, while looking for ways to reduce spending to keep property taxes as low as possible,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “We were faced with a number of significant challenges during the 2018 budget; however, I believe the budget approved today respects the economic and social reality facing our community and citizens, while still positioning the city for our future.” 

Based on the approved budget, a home valued at $325,000, which experienced an average assessment value change for the 2018 tax year, may see an approximately $42.55  increase per year in the municipal portion of their taxes. 

The 2018 municipal tax rates will be set later this spring. That municipal tax rates will then be combined with the provincial education tax rate and the Piper Creek Foundation requisition to help determine how much property tax residents will pay. An assessed property value is multiplied by the property tax rates to determine a property owner’s tax bill that is mailed in May. 

“Eighty per cent of citizens surveyed as part of The City’s annual citizen satisfaction survey told us they get very good value or fairly good value for their tax dollar,” said City Manager Craig Curtis. “We believe this budget continues to provide good value for each tax dollar, balancing the economic climate and need to address community safety, while not compromising the future.” 

Council approved approximately $8.1 million in corporate cost savings, revenues, and efficiencies to arrive at the 2.02 per cent tax increase. These savings include a two per cent reduction of $243,000 eliminated from departmental budgets, a $386,000 reduction in electrical charges and $80,000 savings related to phone and voicemail systems, to name a few. 

Included is savings in electrical costs, fleet savings and increased parking rates. 

“Council reviewed many different options proposed by administration which aimed to reduce costs with as little impact to services levels as possible,” said Mayor Veer. “However, some tough decisions were made in regards to service levels in order to keep property tax and utility increases as low as possible. We are confident Red Deerians will still find value and general quality of life maintained even with these reductions.”

Some key budget items include investment in community safety by adding 10 RCMP officers, further investment in parks and the cleanup of drug and rough sleeper camp debris in the city. Also approved was money for public participation and items related to 2019 Canada Winter Games. Council also voted to freeze drop-in fees for 2018 in an effort to keep our facilities accessible to all. These investments focus on priority areas identified by Red Deerians through various feedback mechanisms including surveys and open houses. 

The 2018 budget was approved after nine days of deliberation. Residents can find out more about the 2018 budget by visiting The City’s website at www.reddeer.ca/budget

For more information, please contact:

Tara Veer
The City of Red Deer     
Craig Curtis
City Manager
The City of Red Deer     
Communications and Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer




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