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City council aiming to limit 2020 tax increase

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Grande Prairie city councillors don’t want to see property taxes go up by more than one per cent next year. They have directed administration to prepare the 2020 budget with a property tax increase no higher than that, plus or minus estimated inflation.

City Manager Horacio Galanti says a one per cent tax impact represents approximately $1.1 million in the budget. He adds the process of finding potential changes to service levels is a lengthy one that has already begun.

“We go through an analysis per department of the different needs in order to provide the level of service that communities require. The end result will be a series of options where council will be able to make decisions depending on the adjustments they want to do.”

Before settling on the one per cent target increase, city council had discussed a maximum hike of 3.75 per cent. Over the last two years, residents saw their tax rate hiked by two per cent in 2018, followed by a 4.1 per cent cut in 2019.

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Galanti says this sort of request is nothing new for city staff, as city councillors often ask for a baseline in which they can use as a starting point.

“We consider the whole community needs and how to manage and balance those resources, minimizing, of course, any potential impacts that could be. That is normally the sequence of events that we do every year to prepare the budget.”

Deliberations for the 2020 budget are expected to begin in the fall.

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