by Colin Smith
Morinville residents will see tax increases of 2% for residential property following adoption of the Town’s budgets for next year. Utility costs will also rise by about 5% for the average Morinville homeowner.
The 2020 Operating Budget and 2020-2039 Capital Plan were passed by Morinville Town Council at its regular meeting on Tuesday after being given a third reading.
Council also adopted bylaws setting new rates for water, sanitary sewer, stormwater and waste management services.
Following months of discussion, Council decided at this meeting to drop the residential tax rate increase from 3%, already down from an initially proposed 4%, to 2%.
That followed a decision to hold the split between residential and non-residential mill rates, through which commercial and industrial property owners pay at a higher rate than homeowners, to 1:1.1 rather than increasing it to 1:1.2 as called for in the Town of Morinville’s Long Term Financial Plan.
Taxes on the average Morinville home – taken to be valued at $334,000 — increase by an estimated $49 per year, less than the anticipated $73, while the tax increase on the average commercial property will be reduced by $200 per year and that of industrial property by $360 year.
The tax reductions will result in the loss of $232,000 in revenue for the Town of Morinville’s operations.
In its previous budget deliberation, Council passed amendments resulting in almost $900,000 in cuts to an initially proposed $22,880,704 in expenditures for 2020.
It continued making cuts at Tuesday’s meeting, with a net $10,000 removed from the programming budget of the Performing Arts Centre – the equivalent of one major show – and $50,000 from the pilot Storefront Improvement Program.
However, additional funding of more than $13,000 was provided for the Morinville Public Library.
Major changes had been adopted for the 2020-2039 Long Range Capital Plan, as part of which $3,764,058 expenditures were planned for the 2020 portion of the plan.
Utility costs will go up $73.49 per year for the average Morinville homeowner.
Water rates will rise by $17.09, sanitary sewer by $21.30, waste management by $5.70 and stormwater by $30.
The average household will pay $1,588.71 in utility costs next year, up from $1,514.63 in 2019.