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BREAKING: St. Albert city council finalizes 2024 budget, property tax increase stands at 5.5 per cent

The property tax increase means homeowners with a house worth an average of $500,000 can expect to pay an additional $226 in taxes next year

St. Albert city council debated more than 25 motions to make changes to next year's budget on Monday, but property owners can still expect a 5.5 per cent tax increase next year.

The property tax increase means homeowners with a house worth an average of $500,000 can expect to pay an additional $226 in taxes next year.

While council did approve a number of changes to the budget, such as a two-officer increase to the city's Peace Officer regiment, a greater number of motions were voted down.

Motions that passed with property tax implications include the $181,250 needed to hire the two new officers, and an estimated $34,000 in city funding that will go to the newly formed downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA).

Offsetting those budget additions was a motion to use $193,300 in remaining 2023 assessment growth funding to lower the property tax increase. Assessment growth is additional tax revenue collected by the City throughout the year from new properties.

Among the motions that were defeated that also sought to lower the proposed property tax increase included a $180,000 positive adjustment to Servus Place's forecasted revenue in 2024. The motion, put forward by Coun. Sheena Hughes, failed with herself, Coun. Shelley Biermanski, and Coun. Mike Killick in favour.

Another motion that failed to earn a majority vote, put forward by Biermanski, sought to eliminate $30,000 in funding from the budget that is to be set aside for the city to use on an as-needed basis to hire external lawyers to do policy reviews and other legal work.

The 2024 budget also carries with it a 7.2 per cent increase to the monthly utility fees charged to property owners.

Although council completed budget deliberations on Monday, the budget won't be formally approved until the middle of next month.

A motion to have administration prepare the final budget document for council's approval passed with Biermanski and Hughes opposed.

The Gazette will have more in-depth coverage of council's deliberations to come.

Jack Farrell

About the Author: Jack Farrell

Jack Farrell joined the St. Albert Gazette in May, 2022.
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