For Immediate Release
April 26, 2022
TABER, AB — The Municipal District of Taber Council approved the 2022 Final Operating Budget following their regular April 26th, 2022 Council meeting on Tuesday.
The Municipal District of Taber's 2022 Final Operating Budget projects a $603,030 operating budget deficit (2021 - $1,026,912 operating budget deficit), which includes a non-cash expense of $4,232,645 for amortization. With the non-cash expense of $4,232,645 for amortization, the 2022 final budget generates $3,287,150 in cash from operations that are to be allocated to capital expenditures or transferred to reserves to fund future expenditures.
The MD of Taber continues to consider potential changes in linear oil and gas property assessment values and/or additional uncollectable oil and gas property taxes.
The proposed 2022 Final Operating Budget includes a projected net increase of $1,158,628 (2021 – net decrease of $1,076,155) in municipal property tax revenues, including projected uncollectable property taxes of $1,000,000* (2021 - $1,500,000). The MD of Taber had reserved $745,357 as uncollectable property taxes attributable to oil and gas properties in 2021 ($1,022,897 – 2020). Non-residential property taxes arrears outstanding currently are cumulatively in excess of $2,570,000.
The 2022 projected uncollectable property tax exposure has been reduced from $1,500,000 down to $1,000,000. This amount is based on 2021 actual oil and gas property tax collections, along with 2022 oil and gas property assessments.
In 2022 most residential properties will see an increase in 2022 total property taxes. The Municipal District of Taber has budgeted to collect $16,076,432 in municipal property taxes (2021 - $15,413,471), which is $662,961 more than the previous year’s budgeted property tax revenues.
The final budget includes the following increases to the municipal mill rates:
- Increase of 3.0% in the residential property tax mill rate
- Increase of 3.0% in the non-residential property tax mill rate
- Increase of 9.0% in farmland property tax mill rate
The 2022 Final Operating Budget includes maintaining the minimum amount of property tax payable per parcel at $40.00.
Included within the final budget is a 10% reduction to the municipal small business sub-class mill rate, which reduces non-residential property taxes by ~$2,011 in 2022.
The MD of Taber has maintained operating expenditures across the organization to accommodate little expected growth in the assessment base. The MD of Taber’s total taxable and GIL assessment increased from $1,992,579,600 in 2021 up to $2,029,827,490 for 2022, an increase of ~1.8%.
The 2022 Final Operating Budget includes an increase in water and wastewater utility fees by 5%, in order to reach near full cost recovery for water costs (excluding amortization) by the year 2025. This plan was put in place utilizing asset management, to reduce the reliance on property tax dollars to fund water and wastewater operating costs. Once full cost recovery for water costs is achieved, water and wastewater utility fees will only increase by inflationary amounts in future years.
The 2022 Final Operating Budget includes a 4.4% cost of living adjustment (COLA) to salaries and wages, as well as staffing allocation changes that increase overall salaries and wages costs to $7,746,821 (2021 - $7,336,490) an increase of $410,331 (2021 - $743,602 decrease). Current Bank of Canada projections expects inflation will continue to rise in 2022.
Due to recent unforeseen fuel price increases, an additional 10% has been added to all departmental fuel budgets in the Final Operating Budget. Actual fuel expenditures in 2021 were 15.5% below the 2021 budget. However, current fuel prices are 30%+ higher than last year’s average prices paid. Therefore, an additional 10% ($114,990) has been added to fuel budgets across all departments in the 2022 final budget. This amounts to ~29% higher budgets than the 2021 actual fuel expenditures
Other 2022 Noteworthy Budget Changes:
- Net Fire Services expenditures budget increased by $355,202 to continue the MD of Taber’s AVL migration plan, in accordance with asset management, to include all fire apparatus, as well as a migration to the AFRRCS radio system. The budgets for these items are one-time migration costs, future budgets will be reduced to include normal repair and replacement over the life of these systems.
- The Municipal Enforcement program budget has been reduced to reflect the transition from a two-officer program, down to a one officer program.
- Increase expenditures in relation to the RCMP funding model of $96,911. 2022 RCMP funding model expenditures are budgeted at $388,481.
- In summary, the proposed 2022 Final Operating Budget projects to provide $3,287,150 (2021 - $2,958,500) in cash from operations, this is an increase of $328,650 from 2021 to 2022 (2020 to 2021 - $35,073). Cash from operations are funds that can be used for capital budget requirements or can be transferred to reserves for use in future years.