EDMONTON -- The City of Red Deer has amended its 2020 operating budget to reduce the financial impact on property owners.

“The average property owner will see a reduction in their overall tax bill due to the reduction in education levy requirements by The Province and the reduction by City Council of the municipal operating budget to keep it at 2019 levels,” said Mayor Tara Veer in a news release. “Council maintained the existing 2020 capital budget to ensure our critical infrastructure needs are met while reducing the already approved operating budget amount.”

The amendment will see the increase in municipal taxes drop from the original 0.96 per cent increase to 0.5 per cent.

The city is able to reduce the education levy collections because the province has frozen this component in 2020.

“We recognize the financial burden our tax payers are facing, and we want to minimize the impact the best we can while maintaining the service we provide and infrastructure required to do so,” said Veer.

Officials say residential property owners with the average change in assessed value will see a decrease of 1.36 per cent in their overall tax bill, while owners of multi-family properties will see and increase in 1.29 per cent, in order to keep all residential type property tax rates the same.

Council has also directed administration to review the multi-family residential property class to see if if should be combined as part of the residential property class in the future.

Council passed first and second readings of the Tax Rate Bylaw during the meeting on Monday, and will hold a special meeting on Wednesday for a third reading.