For Immediate Release / May 3, 2022
Proactive Collaborative Approach to Tough 2023 Budget
Historically, City Administration has prepared a proposed budget for Council consideration that was presented by the CAO in November. To respond to increasing financial pressures and in anticipation of a challenging 2023-2025 budget that may result in either significant tax increases or service level adjustments, the City will be implementing a plan of action that can proactively ensure the proposed budget is in alignment with Council direction.
If the City continues to face decreasing revenues and increasing expenses, higher than historical tax increases may be needed to maintain current Council approved services and service levels. It is not possible to maintain current services and service levels with modest tax increases. Alternatively, changes to existing Council-approved services and service levels may be inevitable.
“With a current tax split ratio of 80 per cent residential and 20 per cent non-residential, St. Albert struggles to meet the growing needs and desires of the community without significantly impacting the average residential taxpayer,” says Mayor Cathy Heron. “Council must balance the level of services we provide to our community with the affordability of living in our community.”
On May 2, City Administration began proactive planning discussions with Council to ensure the proposed budget is in alignment with Council direction. To maintain current Council approved services and service levels, not taking into consideration new asks (business cases), the City is estimating annual tax increases of 7.2 per cent in 2023, 6.2 per cent in 2024, and 3.9 per cent in 2025. During the meeting, Council shared that they are comfortable with a tax increase in the range of 3 to 5 per cent.
Administration is reviewing how cost efficiencies, corporate adaptations and potential service level adjustments can be incorporated to reduce the initial tax requirement of 7.2, for 2023, to somewhere in the range of 3 to 5 per cent. The City will continue to be guided by Council’s Strategic Plan, our Corporate Business Plan, Council approved Services and Service Levels Inventory, our obligation to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents, and our commitment to protect both natural and built environments, while ensuring long-term financial sustainability.
The Proposed Financial Plan and Budget will be presented to Council in the fall. Residents and businesses will have the opportunity to provide input. Visit budget.stalbert.ca for more information on the budget process.
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Last edited: May 3, 2022