May 5, 2009
County Council Approves 2009 Budget and Tax Rates
(Lacombe, Alberta) – The continued provision of high-quality services was a priority of Lacombe County Council when they approved the County’s 2009 tax rate bylaw and the 2009 final operating and capital budgets on April 23rd. Long-range fiscal and project planning aided Council in adopting budgets which meet current needs while maintaining the municipal tax rate at 2008 levels.
While Council approves the interim operating and capital budgets in December, the final budgets and tax rates are not set until April of the following year, once the education requisition is received from the Province. Municipal tax rates are set by aligning the total budget requirements for the year with the total assessed value of all properties in the County. The amount of property taxes levied for education purposes is determined by the Province. Separate tax rates are established for residential, farmland, and non-residential properties, as well as for machinery and equipment (See the Backgrounder on the next page for 2009 property tax rates).
Total tax revenue for municipal purposes will increase by 5.28% over 2008 due to growth in the County’s assessment base. The Lacombe Foundation, whose mission is “to provide safe and affordable housing and support, dignity and quality of life for Seniors and families in the communities of Lacombe County”, has requisitioned the County for $269,030 in operational support for 2009. A mill rate of .0428 will be added to all taxable properties in the County to fund this requisition. On a $300,000 residence this mill rate represents an additional $12.84 in property taxes.
Of the County’s total $50,105,089 operating budget, $33,074,677 is funded through property taxation, with $9.4 million of this being forwarded directly to the provincial government for education purposes. The County’s portion of the property taxes collected is used to fund the cost of services and programs provided to local residents and businesses. The 2009 capital budget of $4.54 million includes vehicle and equipment replacement for the County’s Fire, Public Works, and Agriculture departments; completion of the County’s office and shop expansion; and various community projects, including the expansion and upgrading of the Alix fire hall.
Every year Council works through the difficult task of managing resources for the growing needs of its stakeholders, in order to maintain a balance between present needs and future growth.
County Commissioner Terry Hager sums up the result this way: “The budget strikes a reasonable balance between addressing service costs and the taxes that ratepayers will face in 2009. It puts the County in a stable position to meet the growing service needs of our residents, while accommodating our current economic uncertainties.”
Tax notices will be mailed out at the end of May, with taxes due by August 31, 2009.
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For more information contact:
Manager of Corporate Services