For Immediate Release
April 25, 2023
TABER, AB — The Municipal District of Taber (MDT) Council approved the Final 2023 Operating Budget following their regular April 25th, 2023 Council meeting on Tuesday.
The newly approved operating budget projects a $617,000 operating budget deficit ($603,030 in 2022), which includes a non-cash expense of $4.4 million for amortization. With this, the 2023 final budget provides $4.1 million in cash from operations to be allocated to capital expenditures or transferred to reserves to fund future expenditures.
The MDT continues to consider potential changes in linear oil and gas property assessment values and /or additional uncollectable oil and gas property taxes. The proposed 2023 final operating budget includes a projected net increase of $1,159,661 ($1,158,628 in 2022) in municipal property tax revenues, excluding projected uncollectable property taxes of $500,000* ($1 million in 2022). The MDT had reserved $260,343 as uncollectable property taxes attributable to oil and gas properties in 2022 ($745,357 in 2021). Non-residential property taxes arrears outstanding are currently more than $174,000.
*Note: 2023 projected uncollectable property tax exposure has been reduced from $1 million to $500,000. This amount is based on 2022 actual oil and gas property tax collections, along with 2023 oil and gas property assessments.
In 2023 most residential properties will see an increase in 2023 total property taxes. The MDT has budgeted to collect $17.2 million in municipal property taxes ($16 million in 2022), which is $1,159,661 more than the previous year's budgeted property tax revenues.
The final budget includes the following increases to the municipal mill rates:
- Increase of 0.0 per cent in the residential property tax mill rate
- Increase of 0.0 per cent in the non-residential property tax mill rate
- Increase of 9.0 per cent in farmland property tax mill rate
The final operating budget includes maintaining the minimum amount of property tax payable per parcel at $40.00.
The MDT’s total taxable and grant in place of taxes (GIPOT) assessment increased from $2 billion (2022) to $2.2 billion (2023) – an increase of ~7.2 per cent.
The proposed 2023 final operating budget includes an increase in water and wastewater utility fees by 5 per cent to reach near full cost recovery for water costs excluding amortization by 2025. Utilizing asset management strategies, this plan was implemented to reduce the reliance on property tax dollars to fund water and wastewater operating costs. Once full water costs are recovered, water and wastewater utility fees will only increase by inflationary amounts in future years.
The proposed 2023 final operating budget includes a 7 per cent cost of living adjustment (COLA) to salaries and wages, as well as staffing allocation changes that increase overall salaries and wages costs to $8.5 million ($7.7 million in 2022) – an increase of $712,234 ($410,331 in 2022). Current Bank of Canada projections expect inflation will remain constant in 2023.
Other highlights include:
- The Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) operating grant allocation doubled in 2023 to $331,264. Additionally, the MSI gravelling program project grant revenue of $647,791 has been reduced to $0. Going forward, the annual MDT’s gravelling program will be funded by operations. This will allow for additional MSI capital grant allocations to be used for more meaningful capital infrastructure projects in the future.
- IT cyber security enhancements include $98,000 of additional expenditures ($53,500 for support and recovery and $44,500 for security enhancements and systems automation) along with additional revenues of $28,000 related to the recovery of expenditures. The following suite of technology and applications will be highly effective in reducing our risk of being impacted by cyber-type activities including Office 365, backup for Office 365, multi-factor authentication, endpoint management and enhanced endpoint security.
- Public Works contracted services expenditures budget includes $150,000 to prepare a Transportation Master Plan (TMP) to analyze the MDT's current and future transportation needs. The TMP will identify and prioritize numerous transportation improvements to inform capital investment planning. The project will address road capacity, existing and future road classifications, warrants and timelines for road upgrades and network expansion, traffic, traffic calming, intersection analysis and improvements, access management, Traffic Demand Management (TDM), truck traffic, rail service, the airport, and complete streets.
- Lands Department contracted services expenditures budget includes a $100,000 provision for the development of a land management plan.
- The municipal enforcement program budget has been adjusted to reflect the transition from a one-officer CPO program to a contracted CSU officer position from the Taber Police Service through the Town of Taber.
- Increase expenditures in relation to the RCMP funding model of $194,658. 2023 RCMP funding model expenditures are budgeted at $583,139.
In summary, the proposed 2023 final operating budget projects to provide $4.1 million ($3.9 million in 2022) in cash from operations. This is an increase of $165,963 from 2022.
- View the final approved 2023 Operating and Capital Budget
- View the approved 2022 Financial Statements