By Lethbridge Herald on December 22, 2020.
The Town of Coaldale announced the approval of its 2021 budget on Friday with highlights including: third consecutive year of zero per cent increase in municipal residential tax rates; second consecutive year of zero per cent increase in municipal non-residential tax rates; and zero per cent increase in franchise fees (for natural gas and electricity) in 2021.
“Despite the unanticipated economic effects brought on by COVID-19, the Town’s budget has remained exceptionally healthy,” said Kyle Beauchamp, director of Corporate Services, in a news release. “We’ve still been able to withstand the obstacles brought on by the global pandemic and bring back a zero per cent increase in municipal tax rates to ease any financial burdens on residents and businesses.”
The budget considers the next three years of operating spending as well as capital spending to 2024. Even considering all of the investment being made into new infrastructure, buildings, and recreation amenities, the Town remains in a healthy financial position, the release noted.
“We’re pleased to see that even amid a global pandemic we can still balance our goal of zero per cent tax increases with no major cuts to services,” added Town of Coaldale Mayor Kim Craig. “Early on in the pandemic, town council has made a clear commitment to contributing towards the economic recovery of our region and the approved 2021 budget reflects this commitment.”
“Our staff has, wherever possible, attempted to proactively minimize expenses without reducing service levels,” concluded Beauchamp. “We spend a great deal of time reviewing historical spending and making sure our spending reflects our operational needs.”
“A third consecutive year of zero tax increases on residential property is a big deal; it’s not something most municipalities can accomplish,” added Cameron Mills, manager of Economic Development. “Our residential tax rate remains very competitive, and our taxes on business are amongst the lowest in the regionlive and to do business.”