County of Grande Prairie councillors have approved a 1.2 per cent property tax decrease after two days of deliberations. Despite initially passing a one per cent increase in the interim 2020 budget passed in December 2019, councillors applied a $1.15 million surplus to the final document after discussing the impacts of COVID-19 on taxpayers.
“As it stands now, we know even a small increase would be difficult for our community, so we have reduced the budget, with a 1.2 per cent decrease to the municipal portion of property taxes,” says Reeve Leanne Beaupre. “We hope this, combined with the waiving of penalties for late payments from June 30 to October 31, will help reduce the challenges many of our residents and businesses may be experiencing.”
According to the County, the decrease means an average residential property valued at $435,000 will pay a total of $2,851 per year in municipal taxes – $1,773 for the municipal services portion plus $1,078 in requisitions for Provincial Education and the Seniors Foundation.
Overall, the $149.5 million budget is estimated to be split up with $78.4 million used for general
operations and $71.1 million for capital spending. A total of $40.9 million is being spent on road and bridge projects, with some of the bigger ticket items including the replacement of the Rio Grande Bridge and advance turning signalization for Highway 2 and 84 Avenue intersection study.
In addition to various road projects, councillors also approved $7.3 million for replacement of County of Grande Prairie vehicles and equipment, and $6.5 million for servicing the lands adjacent to Five Mile Community Hall earmarked for new school builds.