How does The City come up with the property tax rate?
There are many inputs.
- extensive public engagement
- review of economic and financial forecasts
- socio-demographic trends,
- population growth projections,
- inflation, and
- service plans, levels and costs
Council approves a four-year business plan and budget, taking into account all of these inputs and more. This most recently happened in November 2013, with the approval of Action Plan 2015 – 2018.
We are accountable to citizens.
For each year of Action Plan, Council reviews the progress made on achieving all the work The City said it would accomplish through mid-year and year-end accountability reports.
Every fall, Council considers the plans in place for future years with a view to citizen satisfaction levels, updated economic and financial forecasts, risks, and affordability for all citizens.
Council deliberates and approves any adjustments to Action Plan to make sure citizens are getting what they want and need at a reasonable cost.
ABC's for Setting the Tax Rate
- The Council approved adjustments to Action Plan determines the amount of funding expected to be required from the property tax for the following year.
- Every year, in the spring, the federal and provincial governments release their budgets. These budgets tell Council what funding (grants and subsidies) will be made available to The City. With this information in hand, Council again reviews Action Plan and also considers any changes in the economy including revised oil prices, population growth forecasts, inflation rates, as well as associated changes in the financial forecasts and risks, etc.
- Finally, Council reconsiders the financial implications of various tax rate options and impacts on citizens, before approving the final property tax rate for the current tax year.
Establishing the Tax Rate – the calculations
Once council determines what budget The City needs to support the delivery of programs and services in the coming year the tax rate can be calculated. From this amount, sources of revenue other than property tax, such as business tax, licence fees, user fees, provincial grants and subsidies are subtracted. The balance is the amount needed to be raised by property taxes. Learn about the calculations that create the municipal tax rate.
Looking for more information on The City's finances? Visit our financial overview for the big picture.