Cranbrook city hall. Trevor Crawley photo.

Annual city budget talks set to get underway

City staff proposing a 2.95 per cent increase in the property tax levy for 2022

Cranbrook city council and staff will be meeting this week to hammer out next year’s budget and there is a full slate of priorities and issues to flesh out.

The meetings, which will be livestreamed on the city’s website, will set budgets for all departments, including the municipal contract with the RCMP, as well as identifying and prioritizing capital project spending.

Oh, and property taxes.

Based on the meeting’s agenda — which will be spread out over Nov. 17-18 this week — administration is proposing a property tax levy increase of 2.95 per cent. According to a staff report, the increase translates to a $6 per month increase for a residential property assessed at $350,000.

That 2.95 per cent increase includes the annual one per cent dedicated road tax that is directed towards municipal infrastructure spending.

In terms of 2022 property tax collection, the city is forecasting revenues of $31.3 million, while other revenue sources include fees and transfers from other governments and organizations.

The city is projecting operating expenses of $44.1 million.

One key item up for discussion is the reconstruction project of Victoria Ave and 4th St. N, a project estimated at $37.6 million that would see the replacement of underlying sewer and water infrastructure as well as the pavement surface on both arterial roadways.

Administration is recommending an option that would phase the project into three stages over three years, to be funded by a mix of capital and internal resources, as well as borrowing.

All budget and operational decisions will be made at or following the meetings as part of the city’s annual five-year financial plan process.