Following the direction set through their 2013 Strategic Priorities, Council approved the City of Airdrie’s 2013 operating and capital budgets on December 17. The overall budget will result in a property tax increase of 2.84 per cent, or an increase of $3.40 per month for the average home in Airdrie, generating an additional $967,000 in tax revenue.
"As our community continues to grow, the City must make choices that keep us on track to achieving our Strategic Priorities, while recognizing the cost impact to citizens," said Mayor Peter Brown. "While we look to invest in projects that benefit the city today and in the future, we also look to ensure that we are able to provide the same level of service our citizens have come to expect. We are able to achieve this by looking to Administration to continue to improve operational efficiencies."
With a projected 5.8 per cent population increase for 2013, Airdrie continues to experience a strong growth rate. However, the majority of this growth is residential. One of Council’s 2013 priorities focuses on business investment and attraction, aiming to increase the assessment split between residential and non-residential property taxes.
"The Finance Committee brought forward a budget which focuses on Council’s desire to keep tax increases to a minimum while ensuring we are able to remain committed to achieving Council’s Strategic Priorities," explained Finance Committee Chair Murray Buchanan. "The 2013 operating budget also needed to address the costs associated with maintaining existing service levels, developing infrastructure for new growth areas, as well as funding the increased operating costs of protective services."
Operating fund budget highlights - $67 million
- New tax revenue from growth ($1.6 million)
- Additional property tax revenue ($967,000)
- Additional tax dollar investment (2.84 per cent tax increase) $967,000
- Franchise fee revenue increase ($465,000)
- Increase in personnel costs ($3.5 million)
- Increase in policing contract ($400,000)
- Increase in grants to other groups ($215,000)
- Increase in long term debt ($330,000)
Utility fund budget - $18.7 million
- Increase in sales and user charges ($2.3 million)
- Increase in purchases (water and wastewater) from the City of Calgary ($864,700)
- Increase in contracted goods and services ($107,200)
- Increase in long term debt ($264,300)
- Increase in utility rates of 9.95 per cent to compensate for rates increase from the City of Calgary
The City’s capital budget provides for major renovation expenditures and construction of new infrastructure and facilities. Priority is given to those projects enabling the achievement of Council’s Strategic Priorities and implementation of approved City plans. The City first looks to fund capital projects with grants or developer contributions. When such funds are insufficient, the City will use debenture financing and /or draws on reserves.
2013 Capital budget highlights - $24 million
- Fire protection extrication tool replacement and rescue truck replacement ($854,200)
- Second year funding for Phase III of Genesis Place Recreation Centre ($9.4 million)
- Bert Church Live Theatre renovations ($3.3 million)
- Transit ICE fleet expansion ($900,000)
- Land improvements at Chinook Winds Regional Park ($538,900)
- Yankee Valley Blvd – East Lake Blvd to Kings Heights Gate ($3.7 million)
The City requires a 2.84 per cent increase in the overall municipal tax revenue to implement the approved budget. The new tax rate will be set in the spring of 2013.
As part of the budget process, the 2014 and 2015 budgets are projected. The future projections indicate a need for an increase in revenue sources or a decrease in expenditures.
Director of Corporate Services