To accommodate both inflation and the Town of Stony Plain’s growth property taxes are going up but not by as much as originally expected. Residential Ratepayers on average will notice a 3.02% increase on their 2015 municipal tax bill. That’s down 4.17% from the original projection. Commercial Ratepayers on average will notice a 5.31% increase on their 2015 municipal tax bill, down 1.88% from the original projection. When Council passed the 2015 budget in December of 2014 it was projected the tax increase needed to be 7.19% but after the Spring Budget Adjustment Council took a second look at the increase on April 13th and have settled on a residential increase of 3.02% and a commercial increase of 5.31% as opposed to 7.19%. With the School Foundation and Meridian Foundation requisitions factored in the overall residential increase on average will be 2.62% and the overall commercial increase on average will be 3.33%.
Mayor William Choy says, “This increase is necessary to continue to provide services our residents expect and deserve.” He goes on to say, “One percent of this increase will also go into a reserve fund to pay for future projects and costs.”
As the municipality continues to grow the Town needs more staff to deliver services along with more infrastructure. Some examples would be the continued expansion of the trail system, both construction and maintenance plus the Town took over phase one of Genesis on the Lakes requiring the Town to maintain that land, and older Town facilities need upgrading and maintenance such as the Glenn Hall Arena.
For every $100,000 a house is worth the overall tax bill will go up by $20.02. The municipal portion of this increase is $15.79. A house worth $400,000 will see an overall increase of $80.08, the municipal portion of which is $63.16.
“A few years ago the Town realised it was also losing the battle on the non-residential or commercial/industrial tax base,” explains Choy, “Council made it part of the policy to also increase non-residential properties.” A commercial building worth $1,000,000 will see an overall increase of $356.41 on their tax bill. The municipal portion of this increase is $391.43, which is offset by a decrease to school taxes and a slight increase in the Meridian Foundation tax rate.
The Town of Stony Plain saw a large tax jump in 2014 with 13.64%. Choy says, “Council decided it wasn’t appropriate to mortgage our future, residents who are using services today need to pay for services today. We also saw a huge growth from the last census in 2010 that we did not have money for. If the Town had not moved forward with this increase it could have been in real trouble in the long-term.”
Despite tax increases going back to 2007, the Town of Stony Plain remains one of the most affordable municipalities to live in and do business in.
For further information on this, please contact the Town Corporate Communications Officer, Stephanie Barsby Boisvert at firstname.lastname@example.org, Corporate Services Director, Louise Frostad at email@example.com, or Town Manager, Tom Goulden at firstname.lastname@example.org