Morinville deficit raises tax increase to 4% for 2019

by Colin Smith

Morinville property taxes may go up by four per cent next year, reflecting concern about deficits in the Town’s operating budget.

At the December 11 Council meeting third reading of a proposed 2019 budget that increased residential tax rates by three per cent had been moved, the final step in the budgetary process. This budget foresaw an operating deficit of $776,853.

Mayor Barry Turner then moved a budget amendment to increase the revenue the Town takes in during 2019 by the amount equivalent to a four per cent residential tax hike.

That will amount to about $97,000, bringing the operating deficit down to around $680,000. A tax increase of three per cent is proposed for 2020 in order to get the deficit under control.

“I think we are at the crucial point where we have to look at increasing our revenue or cutting services,” said Mayor Barry Turner. “I don’t think cutting services is the road we want to go down.”

The Mayor added that while this was probably the highest tax increase he had seen in his 17 years on council, it was not unreasonable given the $30 million rec centre project and the increasing levels of service being provided to the community.

The amendment passed four to three, with councillors Lawrence Giffin, Sarah Hall and Scott Richardson also in favour, while Stephen Dafoe, Rebecca Balanko and Nicole Boutestein were opposed. The 2019 budget itself passed with the same council members in favour or opposed.

During the debate Councillor Stephen Dafoe referred to the possibility of a one-time special levy for rec centre costs being employed to cover the revenue shortfall in lieu of the extra percentage point of tax.

“I’m not for or against a levy,” he said. “The thing about a levy is that it is just for a set period of time and isn’t compounding.”

A motion by Dafoe that Council examine the idea of a levy before the mill rate is finally set in the spring was passed.

If the four per cent tax increase is implemented, the average homeowner (with an assessment of $300,000) will pay $2,174.40 in municipal taxes, up $83.67 over 2018.
With a three per cent tax increase, the average $300,000 homeowner would pay $2,154.48 in property taxes, up $62.75 over 2018.

Also part of the budget is non-residential split mill rate of 1:1.1, to climb over a five -year period to 1:1.5.

As a result, taxes for the average non-residential property owner will go up 14.4 per cent, or $301 on a $300,000 commercial property.

Taxes for the average non-residential property owner will go up $278.20, for a total of $2,369.93 on a $300,000 assessment.

New operational spending proposed for 2019 totals $115,000. The budget includes the cost of hiring the equivalent of 9.21 permanent staff.

The Long Range Capital Plan includes proposed capital spending for 2019 of just over $20 million, with $1,224,858 going to new projects.

More information on the budget can be found on the Town website,

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  1. Hey Barry. Any face to face meeting with the Province about the awesome dirt road that goes through town, or just a letter and a phone call? It’s okay do you want me to hold your hand in the meeting,

    • Lorraine Pelletier – Dwyer this is ridiculous. Our taxes are high enough already. I’ve lived in many different towns in Alberta and have never paid taxes this high. And now they are raising them again. ?

  2. Wow . Let’s spend more money on things this town can’t afford . While you raise property taxes and wonder why people are trying to sell there homes at a huge loss . But hey I guess it’s worth it cuz we are getting a new rec center . Liquor store # 7 and a new pizza place . What a joke

    • Barbara Taylor can they control who wants to open a business here?
      We have alot of commercial land by hiway 2, I’m sure the council isn’t holding back if they are having business opportunities knocking on the door.
      Don’t worry this is one year. When the economy gets going again, things will be better for this town.
      I just moved here a few months ago and my family and I love it!!

  3. That’s 100% BS. The tax mill rate here is ludicrous for the lack of amenities we have.

    As For the 30 million sports facility- where is provincial and federal funding???? We are the largest city/town in Canada without a pool for Pete’s sake. I hear trudeau is throwing money at everything. Tell him Morinville’s in another country and we need help….I’m sure you’ll get the funding!!

    Also, Hold who ever blew the budget on the town office accountable and look to reduce costs before increasing taxes. Then start looking to promote our town and attract businesses to generate tax revenue before further taxing the people of Morinville. There’s a better and more responsible way to rectify the problem. That’s what council is elected to do. DO YOUR JOB!

    • Kris Larsen you didn’t follow anything about that rec Center did you? Council did what the people wanted. And this was brought up, but people wanted it. Love to see your name on council next election. See how much better you can do lol.

    • The rec center is one small piece Dan. There’s several other components that’s creating a need for raised taxes and the absurd mill rate we’re paying. It’s an easy solution to just raise taxes. Any council can do that.

  4. To those above who throw new business retailers in with their complaints, use a little common sense. We benefit with increased business starts, this helps offset demands on the residential tax payer.

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