City Council Aims to Keep Edmonton Property Taxes Affordable Despite Tough Fiscal Situation: Sohi – Edmonton

Despite the City of Edmonton’s tough financial situation, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi says he and city councilors will work to keep citizens’ taxes manageable even as it becomes more difficult to fund city services.

“We want to make sure that Edmontonians’ lives stay affordable, that our taxes stay affordable,” the mayor said Monday.

His comments came the same day city administrators told council that just to maintain current service levels while simultaneously continuing with projects the city has already committed to, the city may have to raise property taxes. 8.5% in 2023, followed by more increases over the following three years.

“That’s not where the council is going to land, I can tell you that,” Sohi said, indicating that such a tax hike probably wouldn’t be acceptable to Edmontonians.

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The administration told city councilors there are indications that Edmontonians expect more from the city when it comes to managing winter snow and ice, improving public transit and taking measures against climate change.

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At the same time, Edmonton has recently seen a drop in revenue from both transit fares and photo radar tickets.

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“The funding challenges we project are significant,” acknowledged Jodie Graham, director of the city’s budget office.

“How can we do what people want us to do without charging them a 10% property tax increase to do it? »Com. Tim Cartmell reflects.

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He also suggested that some of the tax challenges ordinary citizens face today are the same ones facing the city.

“You’ve seen it on your electric bill, you’ve seen it on your gas bill and you’ve seen it at the pump – inflation is a reality and it’s a reality for the city as well. ‘Edmonton,” Cartmell said.

In June, the administration will provide city council with a more detailed breakdown of the city’s fiscal scenario for the four-year budget cycle, at which time councilors will begin to consider further discussions on the challenges Edmonton faces.

–With files from Sarah Ryan, Global News

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