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DebraW
08-05-2007, 03:29 PM
Mandel issues tax hike warning

Gordon Kent, edmontonjournal.com
Published: Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mayor Stephen Mandel is warning a "scary" double-digit property tax hike could come next year due to rising costs driven mainly by Alberta's economic boom.

A report. released today, on the 2008 operating budget process indicates Edmonton could need an extra $57 million-$76 million just to provide the same services it does now, with most of the increase coming from higher salaries and inflation.

Mandel estimated this could mean an eight- to 10-per-cent tax boost, although more precise information should be available in August.

"You're starting off with what I see as a substantial challenge," he told city manager Al Maurer during a council meeting.

"Given the amount of it, it's going to be scary."

Coun. Ron Hayter was also concerned, saying "the message I get from the presentation can be described in three words up, up and up."

But Maurer cautioned these are preliminary figures, which will likely be adjusted before next year's proposed budget is presented to council in November.

[email protected]
© Edmonton Journal 2007

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Sonic Death Monkey
08-05-2007, 03:35 PM
Any bets on how long until the SUN turns this into another sensationalist "they're taxing us to death" piece with the predictable responses by Hennig, Nickel, etc?

DebraW
08-05-2007, 03:36 PM
Any bets on how long until the SUN turns this into another sensationalist "they're taxing us to death" piece with the predictable responses by Hennig, Nickel, etc?

I'll take that bet and predict say tomorrow...

DebraW
08-05-2007, 03:41 PM
City tax hike could set record in 2008
Property taxes could spike 8-10% in 2008: mayor

Tue, May 8, 2007
By FRANK LANDRY, CITY HALL BUREAU, Edmonton Sun

Think your property taxes are high now? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The levy could go up a whopping 8-10% in 2008, the highest property tax hike in Edmonton’s recent history.

Mayor Stephen Mandel tossed out the figures today, following a presentation by administration that outlined the intense economic pressures the city is facing as a result of Alberta’s economic boom.

$200 more a year

“Looking at this we’re talking an 8-10% tax increase,” Mandel said.

City manager Al Maurer confirmed Mandel’s prediction was on the money.

“Given the amount of it, it’s going to be scary,” the mayor said.

A hike in the range of 8-10% would cost the average homeowner about $200 more a year.

Planning for the 2008 budget is still very preliminary.

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bobinedmonton
08-05-2007, 07:17 PM
You know, I would gladly pay more in taxes if road construction - projects that take 1 to 2 months to complete in other cities - would be completed in less than 12 months here. As we speak, 142 Avenue is STILL closed to traffic at 127 Street, and 127 St. STILL has the right lane closed north of 137 Avenue. This construction started LAST SPRING! This snail pace of construction would put the old Eastern European Communist countries to shame! And what's the deal with 66 Street at Yellowhead trail? The road has almost disintegrated - it may as well be gravel - it's been like that for two weeks and not a repair crew in sight! I know that there will be a new interchange here in the year 3050, but really ... can we not patch the road before then?

Sonic Death Monkey
09-05-2007, 12:07 PM
I'll take that bet and predict say tomorrow...

Your prediction is correct! Now how long until the inevitable Diotte and editorial railings? :)

http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Edmonton/2007/05/09/4165312-sun.html



Mayor warns of 'scary' tax hike
By FRANK LANDRY, CITY HALL BUREAU

Think your property taxes are high now? You ain't seen nothing yet.

Edmontonians could face a "scary" tax hike of up to 10% next year, Mayor Stephen Mandel said. That would be the highest property tax increase since the 1980s.

Mandel tossed out the figure yesterday following a presentation by administration that outlined the intense economic pressures the city is facing as a result of Alberta's economic boom.

"Looking at this we're talking an 8-10% tax increase," Mandel said in council chambers.

City manager Al Maurer confirmed that Mandel's prediction was on the money, based on initial cost estimates.

"Given the amount of it, it's going to be scary," the mayor said.

A hike in that range could cost the average homeowner up to $200 a year.

"There's no question costs are going up," said Coun. Michael Phair, who conceded the tax hike "may very well" be in the range predicted by Mandel.

Coun. Ron Hayter said it's still very early in the process, and he cautioned against getting overly anxious at this point.

The draft budget does not come out until November.

"I'm not looking for a major increase next year, at least not too much more than we've already approved for this year," Hayter said.

"It won't be as bad as some people are making it out."

Maurer said income from investments and various financial strategies could offset a large hike.

However, he said there aren't really any city programs that could be cut in order to save a few bucks.

"We've certainly got more demands," Maurer said, noting council still has to find money to fund an improved snow-clearing program.

Scott Hennig, with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said there's no excuse for a double-digit tax increase.

He said hikes should be limited to inflation, which is pegged at 5% both this year and next, according to the city.

"They're going to hear from a lot of angry taxpayers if they're looking at 10%," Hennig said.

"I don't know what some of these members of council are going to be able to say to some pensioner who got a 2% hike in their pension."

The average property tax bill in Edmonton will go up 4.95% this year, the city has said.

The tax on homes will go up higher than average - about 7%. The figures include both municipal tax and the provincial education tax, which the city collects.

Tax bills will be mailed May 25 and payments are due June 30.

m0nkyman
09-05-2007, 12:14 PM
That would be the highest property tax increase since the 1980s.

Hey, someone remind me. When was the last boom?

DebraW
09-05-2007, 12:16 PM
^ This was the Henning salvo; still have to hear from Nickel and the Diotte and Sun Editorial bunch...me guesses by Friday.

Can anyone say, “sound bite ‘r’ us! :wink:

DebraW
09-05-2007, 12:17 PM
That would be the highest property tax increase since the 1980s.

Hey, someone remind me. When was the last boom?

^ :smt005

newfangled
09-05-2007, 12:19 PM
^ This was the Henning salvo; still have to hear from Nickel and the Diotte and Sun Editorial bunch...me guesses by Friday.

It was a Henning salvo that didn't mention potholes - not even once! This is progress. :D

DebraW
09-05-2007, 12:23 PM
^ This was the Henning salvo; still have to hear from Nickel and the Diotte and Sun Editorial bunch...me guesses by Friday.

It was a Henning salvo that didn't mention potholes - not even once! This is progress. :D

^ In this city, this year yes this is pothole "progress"...sad really. :?

24karat
09-05-2007, 12:27 PM
After returning from a nearly six week foreign trip to places where the pavement was silky smooth to the potholes and patched potholes of Edmonton, I'm not surprised to see a pending tax hike.

If I was going into a new career, I'd go into the paving business, because there has to be a lot of paving done in the near future, and paving/resurfacing will not be an inexpensive undertaking.

The pothole patches will become potholes next spring once again. Truth is, the city has a major problem that can only be fixed by new asphalt.

New asphalt = big dollars = tax hike

Sonic Death Monkey
09-05-2007, 12:38 PM
Brace for 'scary' tax hike: mayor
Rising salaries, inflation may force 10-per-cent increase
Gordon Kent, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Wednesday, May 09, 2007
EDMONTON - Rising costs driven mainly by Alberta's economic boom could lead to a "scary" double-digit property tax hike next year, Mayor Stephen Mandel warned Tuesday.

A report on the 2008 operating budget process shows Edmonton might need an extra $57 million to $76 million just to provide the same services it does now, with most of the increase caused by higher salaries and inflation.

The price of materials such as concrete, gravel and asphalt is likely to go up 20 per cent in 2008, while the cost to lease space and hire security, and the cost of snow removal and other contractors could rise even faster, the report indicates.

Mandel estimated this might mean an eight- to 10-per-cent tax boost, although more information should be available in August.

"You're starting off with what I see as a substantial challenge," he told city manager Al Maurer during a council meeting. "Given the amount of it, it's going to be scary."

Coun. Ron Hayter was also concerned, saying the "message I get from the presentation can be described in three words -- up, up and up. The pressures on citizens and council are going to be extreme."

But Coun. Linda Sloan called the economic update "a wake-up call" for Edmonton. "We're moving into the big leagues ... it's unprecedented in our history," she said.

"Maybe the ideology we have held as being a big city with a small-town approach, maintaining low taxes, cost cutting, some of those ideologies aren't going to serve us as well."
In addition to preserving current services, the city will likely spend $17 million next year to deal with the expanded needs created by growth, as well as the cost of operating newly built facilities and roads.

That money will come from the extra taxes paid by the owners of the new homes and businesses analysts expect to see constructed.

Maurer cautioned these are preliminary figures. They're likely to be adjusted before the proposed 2008 budget is presented to council in November.

Edmonton's overall tax hike this year is 4.95 per cent, although soaring prices meant total taxes for the owner of a typical single-family house went up 6.7 per cent.

The report forecasts strong 2.1-per-cent population growth in Edmonton, but with unemployment staying low, the current labour shortages are expected to continue, making it hard for home builders and other groups to keep up with rising demand.

That should add up to rising house prices, rents and wages, the report says.

"It's a tale of two cities," budget manager Peter Tarnawsky said.

"The positive is oil prices have rebounded and continue to be sustained. However, with the prosperity and opportunity in our community come challenges."

[email protected]


I'm not Sloan's biggest fan, but what she says makes the most sense to me.

And note that the Journal article takes the time to detail the likely causes of a tax hike.