Airdrie taxpayers receive great value
December 15, 2014/For Immediate Release
AIRDRIE, ALBERTA – Airdrie home and business owners continue to be in an enviable situation when it comes to value for their tax dollar. Alberta Municipal Affairs released the latest
Financial Indicator Report which shows that Airdrie, once again, has the lowest average net municipal property taxes per capita when compared with five other mid-sized cities in Alberta. Five years ago, Airdrie was 27 per cent below other communities’ tax rates. Today, Airdrie is 36 per cent lower than the median.
According to the report, Airdrie also has the lowest expenditures per capita in nearly every major category, while maintaining a very high overall citizen satisfaction rate of 97 per cent and high marks for a safe community at 95 per cent.
“Low costs per resident, high satisfaction with services, an ever-widening gap - these translate into good value and efficient services for Airdrie residents,” said Mayor Peter Brown. “I would like to commend staff across the board for their commitment to managing our tax dollars efficiently and effectively, and understanding that we can always be better."
Five years ago, the gap for salaries, wages and benefits was 22 per cent. “Today, it’s 37 per cent,” says Dorian Kachur, Business Strategy Team Leader, City of Airdrie. “This really speaks to the efficiencies within the City of Airdrie. Since wages are comparable, this indicates that City staff members are serving increasingly more residents with fewer staff than their counterparts – in fact, 74 per cent more residents per full-time position. Staff members are continually re-evaluating their processes and priorities as workloads escalate and capacity diminishes.”
Airdrie’s comparison group includes five other Alberta mid-sized cities: Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, St. Albert and Grande Prairie. The population range is from 46,500 to 97,000.
Airdrie’s total operating expenditures, per capita, are less than the group median by a substantial 35 per cent margin, with significantly less reliance on sales and user charges than the peer group. This statistic demonstrates excellent value, as each municipality delivers essentially the same services or basket of goods. All of those costs, regardless of delivery method, are captured in this figure.
Highlights from the report show Airdrie far below the median per capita cost in all major categories including:
- 37 per cent lower than the median in salaries, wages and benefits
- 65 per cent lower than the median in spending on materials, goods, supplies and utilities
- 36 per cent lower than the median in expenditures on contracted and general services
- 35 per cent lower than the median in long term debt, and
- 57 per cent lower than the median on sales and user charges.
Business Strategy Team Leader
403.948.8800 ext. 8759