Red Deer Minute: Tax Increase, Debate Delayed, and Byelection Date Announced

Red Deer Minute: Tax Increase, Debate Delayed, and Byelection Date Announced


Red Deer Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Red Deer politics


This Week In Red Deer:

  • After last week’s lengthy budget discussions, (more on that below!) Council only has one meeting on the agenda for this week - a City Council Agenda Review Committee meeting scheduled for this morning at 11:00 am.

  • The City of Red Deer is set to phase out its photo-radar program by the end of 2024, following a proposal by Councillor Kraymer Barnstable, which received unanimous support from fellow Councillors. The decision stems from the revelation that the program's operational costs exceed its generated revenue. Administration is now tasked with transitioning away from vehicle-mounted automated traffic enforcement by the end of the year and exploring alternative enforcement options for 2025.

  • Council will create a Community Revitalization Levy (see later in the same article) in the downtown area to qualify for a provincial loan aimed at stimulating investment and growth. Councillor Lawrence Lee introduced the resolution, noting that cities like Calgary, Edmonton, Cochrane, and Airdrie are already benefiting from the provincial Community Revitalization Levy loan program. The process involves defining boundaries for the zone, potentially covering the downtown, Railyards, and Capstone neighbourhoods, and then taking advantage of loans from the Province amounting to 3% of the total property taxes collected from existing businesses and residences in the area. The repayment, spanning from 20 to 40 years, will be paid for by additional property taxes generated from newly constructed properties within the zone.


Last Week In Red Deer:

  • After three days of discussion, City Council approved the 2024 budget - along with a 6.15% property tax increase. Despite many amendments being debated, Council was unable to agree on cuts of any significance. The 6.15% tax increase will also still require $6 million to be taken from operating reserves to balance the budget, largely depleting those reserves and setting up an even worse situation for next year. Utility rates will also be increasing. We’ll have a more fulsome analysis to share with you in the coming days.

  • Council was set to debate a Notice of Motion asking the Province to remove the overdose prevention site, and Council Chambers were full in anticipation of the debate. But, rather than proceed, Council held an impromptu closed meeting, and then postponed the debate, opting instead for a public hearing. The Public Hearing will take place on February 15th.

  • It was confirmed that a byelection will be held to replace Michael Dawe after his unexpected passing over Christmas. There was some debate among Councillors about the need to have a byelection, but in the end, all agreed to it. The date for the byelection is set for April 22nd. Initially the budget for the byelection was set at $450,000 but during budget discussions, Council reduced the anticipated costs to $350,000.




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  • Common Sense Red Deer
    published this page in News 2024-01-29 00:11:17 -0700