Edmontonians lukewarm about tax increase, survey shows one-third OK with 1.8 per cent hike
A survey shows more than half of Edmontonians do not want to see a tax increase or would prefer a decrease.
A City of Edmonton online survey indicates 42 per cent of those surveyed want the city to continue a tax freeze next year, and 18 per cent say they would want a tax levy decrease. A third of respondents were in favour of a tax levy increase.
Conducted from Nov. 17 to 24, the city says 8,644 respondents took part in the survey to help guide councillors' budget deliberations.
City administration is proposing a 1.8 per cent increase on residential property taxes next year after a zero per cent increase in 2021.
If approved, the average household would pay around $714 more in property taxes in 2022 for each $100,000 of the assessed value of their home — roughly $14 more on every $100,000 of assessed value compared to 2021.
Nearly half of the people who participated in the online survey said their financial situation had worsened due to the pandemic, with only nine per cent believing it would improve in the near future.
According to the city, tolerance for a tax increase was lowest among commercial property owners and business owners or managers.
Of those who said they were in favour of a property tax increase, 22 per cent said a one to two per cent hike is acceptable. Three-quarters would like that increase to fund existing city-run programming and services.
Almost half of survey participants said they would reduce the amount of funding recreation centres, parks, and transit to offset the need for an increase or maintain a tax freeze.
Among respondents wanting a tax increase, three-quarters said they wanted the funds to be used for maintaining existing services and maintaining infrastructure.
Sixty-three per cent of respondents said they are employed, while 22 per cent are retired.
City council will continue budget deliberations throughout the month, with a final decision expected before Christmas.
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