Lethbridge City Council on Monday voted unanimously to set a target for a zero per cent property tax rate increase and a zero per cent utility rate increase for 2021.
Council has asked the City Manager to propose options based on the approved target to amend the 2021 Operating Budget by eliminating the scheduled 3.64 per cent increase for the 2021 municipal tax rate (2020 and 2021 combined), which would reduce the tax rate increase to zero per cent in 2021.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the City and its residents and many City of Lethbridge taxpayers are facing financial hardship," says Mayor Chris Spearman, who initiated the motion. "This would help us set a specific target as we prepare to enter into our 2021-22 Operating Budget review process next week."
City Council originally approved the 2019-2022 City of Lethbridge Operating Budget with an annual 1.82 per cent increase for the municipal portion of the property tax. The year 2019 saw the lowest property tax rate increase in 20 years of 1.82 per cent. As a result of the pandemic, on May 11, 2020, City Council approved a one-time zero per cent municipal tax rate increase.
While this target would be applied to the municipal portion of your tax bill, individual properties may see a tax change on their bills for other reasons, such as:
- A change in property assessment (the value of your home, business or multi-family complex)
- An increase to the Green Acres Foundation budget or to the Alberta School budget
- New construction or demolition
Property tax bills are specific to each property and we would encourage you to call 311 to speak with the Assessment & Tax team to understand your assessment and the breakdown of your bill.
You can also visit https://www.lethbridge.ca/taxes to learn more about property taxes.
City Council also asked the City Manager to propose options based on the approved target to:
- Amend the 2021 Operating Budget to eliminate the scheduled 2.0 per cent rate increase for Water Utilities
- Amend the 2021 Operating Budget to eliminate the scheduled 2.5 per cent rate increase for Wastewater Utilities
- Amend the 2021 Operating Budget to eliminate the scheduled 4.0 per cent rate increase for Commercial Garbage Collection
Council's Finance Committee will begin the 2021-22 Operating Budget Review deliberations on November 23.
View the draft operating budget here: https://www.lethbridge.ca/City-Government/Financial-Documents/Documents/Budget/2021-2022OperatingBudgetReviewDraft.pdf