City of Edmonton anticipates $28.4M surplus for 2016

Skaters at Edmonton City Hall Feb. 2016. Emily Mertz, Global News

For the fifth year in a row, the City of Edmonton expects to end the year with extra money in its bank account.

The city expects to end the year with a $28.4-million surplus.

“It really is an accomplishment considering that the City of Edmonton’s operating expenditure budget is in excess of $2 billion. So $28.4 million represents approximately one per cent,”¬†Stacey Padbury, branch manager of financial services with the City of Edmonton, said.

“It’s really due to the hard work of all employees across the city to prudently manage the costs and expenditures.”

Nearly half of the surplus – $13 million – came from the snow and ice removal budget, which benefited from warmer weather last winter and this fall.

The extra money will go into the Financial Stabilization Reserve, a “rainy day” fund for extraordinary circumstances or emergent financial issues.

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“The city does not use year-end surpluses to reduce future year’s property taxes as this one-time source of money cannot be guaranteed for ongoing operations,” the city said in a media release Thursday afternoon.

READ MORE: Edmonton ends 2015 with $27M surplus

The city can, however, use the extra dollars for other programs and initiatives. For each of the last three years, city council designated $3.5 million for affordable housing.

The City of Edmonton has proposed a 3.1 per cent tax hike in 2017, which works out to be about $72 more per year for the average household.

The expected surplus will be discussed at city council on Tuesday.

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