by Colin Smith
Morinville homeowners will see a property tax increase of three per cent next year under the proposed 2020 Operating Budget given first reading at the Town Council’s October 22 meeting.
Business property taxes will go up about 12%, resulting from a scheduled increase in the non-residential split tax rate to 1:1.2.
Utilities costs will increase an average of five per cent, or about $70 per month for the average homeowner.
Budgeted revenues for 2020 total some $22.8 million, while expenses are about $22.2 million, for a total surplus of $579,812.
The Town of Morinville expects to collect $10,630,757 in net tax revenue in 2020, about 68% of its total revenue.
Revenue as a whole is up almost six per cent over 2019 as a result of projected growth, the three per cent tax increase, move to a 1:1.2 split non-residential mill rate, revenue from Morinville Leisure Centre (MLC) and a slight increase in revenue from utilities.
Expenses have also seen a rise of about eight per cent over the previous year. This is due to investment in new operating initiatives, proposed new positions and the effect of compensation increases, and MLC operating costs.
The proposed Capital Budget sees specific project spending for 2012 totalling $3.9 million, including $3.7 million in tax-supported projects and $212,000 in utility-related projects.
First reading is the initial step in the budget approval process. An Administration presentation and open house to be held October 29 will give members the public an opportunity to share their views on the budget with Council. The event takes place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre, with an open house from 6:30 p.m.to 8:30 p.m.
The Capital and Operating Budgets will go back to Council on November 12 for second reading and amendments. Third reading and Budget passage is scheduled for that day or November 26.
Council also gave first reading to water, sanitary sewer, waste management and stormwater utility bylaws incorporating the rate increases at its October 22 meeting.