EDMONTON -- For the first time since 1997, Edmontonians will enjoy a property tax freeze.

In December last year, council approved a budget that would have no property tax increases to help residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Monday, council decided it would maintain that commitment.

While the city decided and approved its fiscal budget back in December, council has two opportunities a year to reconsider portions of its operating budget during budget adjustment proceedings.

The frozen property tax rate was made possible by the city pulling in an additional $5.7 million in revenue from construction activity being stronger than originally anticipated by the city in December 2020.

“Council worked in the fall to achieve a no tax increase,” city manager Andre Corbould said. “There have been many ups and downs along the way, but we are proud to report that the overall tax freeze remains achievable.”

Non-residential tax rates will have a decrease of 0.7 per cent to help offset economic pressure businesses are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While taxes are frozen for property owners, it does not necessarily mean everyone will pay the same.

Property assessment values will determine how much people will pay. If property owners had an assessment with a decrease in value, they would likely see property tax bills remain the same as last year. If property owners were assessed to have a property value increase, bills could go up despite a tax freeze.