Fiscal Responsibility – More than a Zero Per Cent Tax Increase – Part 2

The best predictor of future performance is past accomplishments.  In my previous post, I suggested that true fiscal responsibility requires the wisdom to balance funding requests with the capacity of citizens to absorb a municipal tax increase.

Council needs to have a clear picture of future infrastructure needs and costs associated with quality of life issues and the fortitude to grant or reject all funding applications based on this information.

So how did Council do during the last three year term?  I recognize that any measurement standard that attempts to judge what is basically a subjective opinion is open to interpretation. Nonetheless, there are numbers associated with the local municipal mill rate increases that can be used to provide insight.  The following chart represents one indicator of fiscal responsibility.

Municipal Tax Increase Comparison – Residential*

Taxation Year

 

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

5 Yr Average

Municipality

St. Albert 2.98% 2.60% 3.24% 2.78% 4.55% 3.23%
 
Camrose 3.63% 3.62% 3.52% 0.00% 4.78% 3.11%
Airdrie 2.84% 2.74% 4.10% 3.97% 4.30% 3.59%
Leduc 3.90% 2.60% 4.73% 3.17% 3.90% 3.66%
Spruce Grove 3.29% 2.52% 4.90% 3.90% 4.90% 3.90%
Lethbridge 2.89% 2.50% 5.09% 4.83% 4.85% 4.03%
Grande Prairie 3.60% 4.00% 2.50% 2.80% 9.40% 4.46%
Strathcona County 2.60% 4.25% 0.00% 5.92% 9.89% 4.53%
Red Deer 4.57% 4.87% 3.98% 2.70% 6.99% 4.62%
Edmonton 6.90% 5.10% 3.85% 5.00% 7.30% 5.63%
Calgary 13.00% 5.10% 10.40% 4.79% 5.30% 7.72%

*Source – St. Albert Assessment and Taxation Services

While this is only one measure of fiscal responsibility, St. Albert’s 5 year average increase compares well to other communities in Alberta.  I believe the 2010/2013 City Council used a reasonably balanced approach to taxation leading to a 3 year average increase of just 2.94%.

As one of your City Councillors, it is my commitment to work hard with wisdom and foresight in order to manage our annual tax requirement in a fiscally responsible manner.

On October 21 Vote Wes Brodhead.

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