The city of Edmonton is blaming the province for the higher property tax its residents will see this year. Originally those residents were looking at a tax hike of about five percent, now it will be nearer to seven percent. Bryan Anderson, city councillor noted that residents were advised their taxes would be going up roughly 5.39 percent. That meant an average increase per property of $93. That was in December.
Thanks to an increase in provincial taxes, residents are looking at an average increase of $128. But that additional money would be going to the province, not the city. The city does always collect provincial money via the property taxes, but this year Alberta will be collecting an additional $120 million thanks to increasing property values and more homes.
Doug Griffiths, Municipal Affairs Minister, notes that the province always collects more money from municipalities because there is a larger and more concentrated tax base. But, he notes, the increase is a good thing because it puts more funding in education, which is what more people considered the most important issue.
But critics say this violates a campaign promise made by Premier Redford to not raise taxes. Rob Anderson, Wildrose MLA was one of the first commenting, noting that the Conservative party, as always, puts the financial burden of the province on average Albertan families.
Bryan Anderson notes that the breakdown of where the taxes go will be on the property tax bills, with those funds going to the province being highlighted. He also stressed the importance of Edmonton establishing a Big City charter, to keep this from happening in the future.