After weeks of budget discussions, Edmonton councillors are coming close to knowing just how much property taxes will increase next year.

At the end of the final full day of budget deliberations on Wednesday, Mayor Don Iveson estimated an increase of approximately 2.5 per cent will be seen in 2019—but said he was hopeful the city would find more savings before property assessments are mailed out in the spring.

“I think we’re in pretty good shape. Sounds like council’s coming around all the tough decisions that were made, but we’ll see what folks have to say on Friday,” Iveson said.

On Wednesday, councillors voted unanimously in favour of spending $3.5 million on affordable housing, with Iveson calling it an opportunity for the city to “put our money where our mouth is around reconciliation.”

Council has also dedicated $10.5 million to green energy investments over the next four years.

Dollars for the Valley Line LRT, Yellowhead upgrades and alley renewal have all been included in the budget, taking up a chunk of the 3.3 per cent tax increase city staff suggested at the outset.

Despite council agreeing to borrow money for big projects like the Terwillegar Drive Expressway and Lewis Farms rec centre, the anticipated tax increase is now expected to be a little less.

Along with the sale of Edmonton Tower, council found savings by cutting back on staffing and reducing the increase to the police budget by $12 million. The city has also put off the $5-million decision of hiring 25 officers to help enforce cannabis laws.

“I have to believe police have already been dealing with people who have been inebriated either way until now,” said Ward 8 Councillor Ben Henderson.

Budget discussion will wrap up Friday morning.

With files from Jeremy Thompson