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County property tax rates up 2% in 2019 budget

County of Grande Prairie residents will pay an average of $34 more on their property taxes based on a $435,000 assessment. County of Grande Prairie Reeve Leanne Beaupre says the increase is part of the overall cost of maintaining service levels in the region.

“To continue to provide ratepayers with safe reliable roads and clean ditches and services they have come to expect.”

The $139.7 million budget has set aside an estimated $82.3 million for operations and $57 million for the capital budget. However, Beaupre says thanks to the efforts of county administration they have found more ways to keep the overall spending down.

‘It leads to less than a 1 percent increase in our operations and a 27 percent decrease in our capital budget. That decrease is attributed to the fact that over the last 2 years we had a very large capital road budget. We borrowed $20 million to do some extensive roads that really needed to be done and this year we are back to the normal budget cycle.”

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Beaupre says over 50 percent of the capital budget will be put towards road works and adds that was the hot button topic for many on council over the last year.

“The people they talk to say the roads are busier, more industry on them and that’s a good thing. It means more investment in our area, so we need to invest more money in our roads.”

$1 million over 10 years will also be spent starting in 2020 for bedside engagement systems at the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital. Also included is a $1.2 million payment to the City of Grande Prairie as part of a tax sharing agreement.

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