Christmas came early for Chestermere residents as City Council passed a 2% tax cut as part of the 2020 budget.
The decision made at the Tuesday night Council meeting means that residents will receive a municipal tax cut for the second year in a row. Council also reduced a 2018 planned 2% increase down to 0.9%.
“We were proud to have brought in a 2% tax cut in 2019 and are thrilled we could bring another 2% tax cut for 2020,” says Chestermere Mayor Marshall Chalmers.
“In Alberta, we are all trying to find the best path forward in these challenging economic times. We know our residents need relief and we are committed to doing our part to find made-in-Chestermere solutions.”
City officials say that the second successive year of cuts was made possible by breaking down internal silos in the organization, ensuring that growth projections matched the economic environment, and carefully reviewing all proposed projects, positions and programs to find more ways to be effective.
“Our community’s vision is to be amazing,” says Mayor Chalmers. “That includes being amazing at finding efficiencies and being amazing at reducing spending when necessary. We believe that the 2020 budget we passed tonight will help us achieve our goals as we continue to listen to our residents’ needs.”
While there is a 2% cut in the 2020 operating budget, the City still plans to pursue improvements to the community including:
- The 2020 portion of the Township Road 240 upgrade (east to west from Rainbow Road to Range Road 284)
- Resurfacing Rainbow Road from the WID canal south to Township Road 240
- Adding new pathways
- A skate park upgrade
- Upgrading the City’s signage (and adding more digital speed reduction signs)
- Internal upgrades including improving IT security and replacing aging vehicles and equipment
As with the 2019 Budget, no capital projects will be funded by property taxes.
The City’s budget, presented by the Chief Administrative Officer Bernie Morton and Chief Financial Officer Brenda Hewko, contained a restrained approach to spending but an immense vision for improvement and innovation.
“As an organization, we aren’t going to be satisfied with the status quo,” said Morton. “In everything we do, we want to be better than we were. To achieve that, we need to think creatively and strategically. The 2020 budget is just one example of how we are doing that and striving to be the most amazing community in Canada.”
More information about the 2020 Budget is available at www.chestermere.ca/budget.