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Brooks - The City of Brooks will see its taxes collected in 2017 down 1.68% from the previous year. “2016 proved to be another tough year for our economy. City Council recognized the difficulties facing many of our residents and mandated that the budget be considered carefully to trim expenses. Service levels were not to be decreased unless it made sense to do so and had minimal impact.” stated Mayor Barry Morishita.
Provincial policy impacts and previous commitments amplified the challenge. These items alone set us back $408,000 and would have resulted in a tax increase of 3.2% without inflation. These include:
Carbon tax direct impact - $57,000
Alberta First Responders Radio Communication System (AFRRCS) for the RCMP- $42,000
Additional operating costs for the Lakeside Leisure Centre expansion and new library - $129,000
2017 Southern Alberta Summer Games - $38,000
2017 tax supported salary and wage increases from tough but fair 2015 CUPE negotiation - $127,000
2017 Municipal Election to be managed in-house to reduce costs - $15,000
With $408,000 added to the budget, the City needed to make cuts to its base budget, cutting back on non-critical project spending and delay purchases of capital equipment.
The 1.68% decrease means that total tax revenues collected will drop from $12,621,640 to $12,409,704 representing a total decrease of close to $212,000. On the utilities side, garbage, recycling, sewer and surface irrigation rates will remain unchanged for 2017. Water rates, however, will increase by 4.23% to recover rate increases passed on from Newell Regional Services Corporation. On average, the water rate increase will cost the consumer an additional $21.18 per year whereas the average municipal tax level will decrease by $31.
For more information, please contact:
Manager of Finance City of Brooks