Council approves 2024 budget, sets municipal tax rate increase

Sturgeon County to maintain one of the lowest residential tax rates in the province

Sturgeon County Council approved the 2024 budgets and set a 2.13 per cent municipal tax rate increase, which means a homeowner with a property valued at $500,000 will pay $41 more per tax year.

Council reduced the municipal tax rate increase from the 3.87 per cent increase proposed in October. This was achieved through thoughtful deliberations and higher-than-expected industrial assessment.

“Council is committed to keeping taxes low while delivering services that support a strong and thriving community,” said Mayor Alanna Hnatiw. “The 2024 budget reflects our dedication to giving residents and businesses the best value for their hard-earned tax dollars. It balances this with investment in key infrastructure, which contributes to our continued growth and prosperity.”

The $135.7 million budget includes a $49.5 million capital budget to fund roads, bridges, and drainage work, and a $86.8 million operating budget to fund day-to-day services, like fire services, snow removal, utilities and community services.

A County homeowner with a property valued at $500,000 will pay $41, or $3.41 per month, more in municipal taxes in 2024. A business owner with a business valued at $1 million will pay $229, or $19.08 per month, more in municipal taxes.

Council is prioritizing utility rate affordability. Some elements related to utility rates are outside of the County’s control. Council continues to work through changes with utility providers to ensure residents receive fair and sustainable rates. The County is committed to transparency and will keep the community informed as it navigates these challenges.

“I’m pleased to bring forward a budget that is innovative and responsive to community needs,” said Hnatiw. “Much like our residents and businesses, we keep an eye on our expenses throughout the year and look for the best value when delivering our programs and services.”

A 2.13 per cent municipal tax increase planned in the budget does not mean each tax bill will increase by 2.13 per cent. Sturgeon County must collect taxes on behalf of the provincial government for education, rural policing, and seniors housing. These amounts account for approximately 40 per cent of taxes due. The final tax rate will be set in the spring after the province determines requisition amounts.

View Sturgeon County’s 2024 operating and capital budget and watch a recording of the budget deliberations at SturgeonCounty.ca/Budget.

Budget Highlights

  • Tax rate increase for 2024 is 2.13 per cent. This is down from the initial proposed tax rate increase of 3.87 per cent.
  • A County homeowner with a property valued at $500,000 will pay $41 more in municipal taxes in 2024. A business owner with a business valued at $1 million will pay $229 more in municipal taxes.
  • Over seven years, from 2017 to 2023, the County’s municipal tax rate only increased a total of 2.69 per cent.
  • The 2024 budget totals $135.7 million.
  • The nearly $50 million capital expenditures will fund roads, bridges, and drainage work in 2024. Transportation infrastructure is the largest expense for Sturgeon County.
    • We’ll undertake significant rehabilitation work along Lamoureux Drive, Range Road 223, the interior road of Cardiff Park, and Township Road 564.
    • We’ll upgrade Township Road 570, Range Road 220, Range Road 232, Range Road 251, and Range Road 260. These high-volume gravel roads will be reconstructed, addressing drainage and safety concerns.
  • The $86.8 million operating expenditures will fund day-to-day municipal services.
  • More than 80 per cent of the County’s tax revenue comes from heavy industry in the Alberta Industrial Heartland, from other County industrial parks, and various businesses in the community.

We are investing:

  • More than $1.8 million to build, maintain and grow our parks, trails, and natural green spaces.
  • $3.1 million in our utility infrastructure, with $1.6 million for water and $1.5 million for wastewater services.
  • $41,000 for enhanced cyber security insurance coverage which would mitigate financial impacts of a cybersecurity incident.
  • $1.8 million to construct a roundabout at Sturgeon Road and Range Road 250, which is one of our busiest intersections.
  • $45,000 for a communications audit, to ensure Sturgeon County can communicate with residents in the most effective way possible.
  • $1.6 million for 14.3 full-time positions to help the County serve residents better. Positions include a social worker, development compliance officer, animal control officer and full-time firefighters.
  • $4 million to reduce debt, which results in significant savings by not having to pay interest.
    $500,000 to fund snow removal, gravel road improvements and potential equipment needs.
  • $1.5 million is allocated toward capital investments for major initiatives in the Sturgeon County portion of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland to support and attract long-term growth. These investments support a stronger tax base for the community, competitive tax rates and long-term financial sustainability.

Sturgeon County offices will be closed Monday, February 19 for Family Day. Offices will re-open Tuesday, February 20 at 8:30 a.m.

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