June 23, 2015 2:09 pm
Updated: June 23, 2015 8:08 pm

Edmonton property tax could increase significantly

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WATCH ABOVE: The current property tax numbers on the table are leading to a lot of debate about how much homeowners can handle. Vinesh Pratap reports.

EDMONTON – City councillors are debating a proposed tax increase of 18 per cent over the next three years.

A new report suggests taxes will have to go up six per cent each year for the next three years in order to maintain the current level of service in the city.

The revenue generated from the increase would go towards new sidewalks, streets and LRT expansion.

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“I completely understand why there’s a visceral reaction to the six, six and six, I think we share it,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

The numbers on the table will change once the budget is formally debated.

“I’m confident we’ll be able to bring that down as the estimates come in, unless something extraordinary happens like if growth really slows down, costs really spike for electricity or diesel or something,” said Iveson. “Those are the kind of things that could impact it the other way.”

Talk is underway about what can be done to build the commercial and industrial tax base in Edmonton. One city councillor wants to look at the services the city provides.

“It’s easy for city council to say, ‘Yes’ when everyone wants something, but it’s pretty tough for us to say no,” said Ward 5 councillor Michael Oshry. “But if there are some programs that are rarely used or used by a handful of people we should look at cutting them because we only have a limited amount of money.”

The 2015 proposed tax increase initially came in at 5.7 per cent, but the approved increase was just over two per cent.

With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News. 

© 2015 Shaw Media

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