Edmonton decides to keep property tax increase at 2.6%

A photo taken at an Edmonton City Council meeting on Jan. 22, 2019.
A photo taken at an Edmonton City Council meeting on Jan. 22, 2019. Global News

The final number is in at Edmonton City Hall for your property tax increase.

It’ll stay at 2.6 per cent, the number city council landed on during budget deliberations in December.

READ MORE: Council settles on 2.6% Edmonton property tax increase for next 4 years

Watch below: Edmonton city councillors have approved a property tax increase of 2.6 per cent each year over the next four years. Vinesh Pratap has the details.

2.6% Edmonton property tax increase for next 4 years
2.6% Edmonton property tax increase for next 4 years

A report heading to next Tuesday’s city council meeting says council has nearly $3.8 million to work with. That’s because of a mix of increased housing starts and permits that increases the total tax base. The city also has a bump of $700,000 in revenue because of the annexed area.

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Councillor Andrew Knack isn’t surprised there is an increase between then and now, although he had his doubts that the tax rate would change.

“They’re often conservative in their estimates, so usually, you’re talking about something that might impact the tax increase by 0.1 or 0.2 of a per cent,” he said.

“Usually there’s additional permits and residences coming aboard that they had originally planned for, recognizing that growth while we still have been experiencing that, it’s been quite small, so I’m sure they estimated a fairly low growth total.”

Cannabis plays a factor. The report said the budget is taking an adjustment of half-a-million dollars.

“[The Edmonton Police Service] requires an adjustment of $0.5 million for cannabis costs that were originally approved on a one-time basis but are ongoing in nature,” the report says. “EPS also requires an increase of $0.2 million to address additional expenditures for police-based victim services offices. This increase is offset by an additional $0.2 million in revenue from the Government of Alberta.”

The report also contains 22 pages of things council had the option of spending more money on when the budget was debated in December. It’s not clear heading into Tuesday’s meeting if they’ll look at adding to the spending.

The report also indicates that the province has not sent a requisition for the education portion of the property tax, so the city will have to take a guess if the figure will significantly increase over the $480 million it has been set at. If the city doesn’t pay enough to the province, the difference can be made up later. Four payments of $120 million are paid every three months.

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No one in the city administration can remember the province not sending a bill in the last 40 years.