2023 Budget & Taxes
Council is pleased to announce that the Town of Claresholm was able to limit increases in taxes to only 1%, with an additional 1.1% increase coming from new development. This is in spite of the Town facing significant inflation, carbon tax increases, and policing cost increases which are beyond their control. Inflation on property assessment values has resulted in an actual 6.7% reduction in the total residential tax rate and 1.8% reduction for total non-residential tax rate.
There was also no increase this year to water and sewer rates, no increase to garbage rates, and no increase to franchise fee rates (Fortis and Atco). There are a couple increases, including a 2.5% increase in recycling rates that took affect November 2022, and increases in some recreation fees (Arena, Pool, Campground).
A few budget highlights include:
- $1.1M transfers to reserves budgeted for future projects/replacements. $980K of this is from water and sewer rates for future water and sewer infrastructure replacements and upgrades.
- $328K in operational grant funding for community groups, including the Library. This is a 2% decrease from 2022.
- $618K for utilities – up $141K from 2022 budget ($20K up from 2022 actuals)
- $3.2M in wages and benefits – 4.5% increase overall - 2.5% cost of living increase in wages, with 12% increase in benefits costs. Council did not take an increase.
- $191K for insurance – up 7% from 2022.
Some of the major projects for this year include:
- Continued storm water infrastructure upgrades, adding storm main and catch basins on Westlynn Dr from Hwy 520 to the Golf Course storm ponds. This further reduces the Town’s risk of flooding as it alleviates a major bottleneck in the system, and promotes the development of the parade staging grounds.
- Watermain upsize on 45th Ave W from 2nd to 3rd Street W
- Sewer main repairs on Hwy #2 from 50th to 53rd Ave W
- Continued upgrades to Amundsen Park, including lighting and pathways (grant already awarded)
- Area Structure Plan to promote development in the North (grant already awarded)
- Broadband internet assessment to identify gaps, needs, and promote investment
- Farm/Bulk water station replacement (65% funded by the MD)
- Garbage truck replacement
- Annual sidewalk rehabilitation and replacement
- Continued development and implementation of Asset Management Program