The property tax rate for City of Grande Prairie homeowners will go up by 1.71 per cent next year. The increase was approved as part of the 2023 Operating and Capital budgets Monday night.
After deliberations earlier this month, Mayor Jackie Clayton said the rise is needed to ensure the municipality can continue to provide expected levels of service while trying to balance rising inflation costs. It’s noted inflation has out-paced tax rate changes by over 16 per cent over the past five years.
“While we continue to experience some revenue pressures from COVID-19, limited tax base growth, higher inflation rates and increased contractual obligations, the City is working to address these challenges with ongoing service reviews and ensuring we are maximizing efficiencies with responsible use of tax dollars.”
The amount on a property owner’s annual tax bill is also influenced by the property’s assessment, the provincial education requisition, and a line for Grande Spirit Foundation, which funds affordable housing for seniors.
The budget includes $20 million for capital road work, $1.5 million to link pedestrian pathways, $200,000 for Large Scale Tourism Funding, $240,000 for the addition of the Urban Forest Strategy Phase 1a and Phase 2 to plant trees at entrances to the city and hire a consultant, $75,000 in funding for snow and ice control at transit stops, and $10,000 for free-drop in opportunities at the Activity and Reception Centre during the winter.
City council also approved holding a public auction for properties that received a 2021 tax recovery notification. It is scheduled for March 17, 2023 at Grande Prairie City Hall.