Planning Forward: Setting the Context

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Severe provincial cuts to municipal funding are incoming, and even the most well-prepared municipality is in for a rough ride.” St Albert Gazette Editorial, March 10, 2021

Current Problem

Municipalities provide a variety of important services to residents and businesses but are increasingly challenged with rising costs and limited or decreasing revenue. There are limits on how the City can generate revenue and reductions in funding from grants, the Province and other sources is imminent. Current forecasting predicts that in order to maintain current service and maintenance levels, the City would require 4 to 5 per cent tax increases in 2022 and beyond - higher than the average property tax rate over the last 10 years of 1.8 per cent. Beyond 2022, the City will also be required to collect education taxes on behalf of the Province; so while completely outside the City's control these will also be added to residents' annual assessment and property tax notice.

Because of some COVID provincial relief funding, we are able to temporarily offset these increases to about 2.5 to 3 per cent for 2022 and 2023. However this is only time limited, so we have about two years to identify, plan for, and implement new revenue streams to offset this challenge. To offset every 1 per cent tax increase, we need approximately $1.2 million.

Current Measures

The City of St. Albert has undertaken a variety of measures to review and reduce City expenditures including, but not limited to, the Organizational Review in 2018, Priority Based Business Planning and Budgeting, and the Ernst & Young Fiscal and Operational Review. Even before these initiatives, St. Albert has always strived to be diligent on the cost side with operating expenses per capita below average for comparable communities, according to both Alberta Municipal Affairs and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and our debt per capita is low when compared to similar communities in Alberta. For more information, view excerpts from the CAO 2021 Budget Presentation.

While we are committed to continue examining the cost-side of the fiscal equation, it is recognized that generating new revenue streams will be essential for the future in a way that doesn't take business from industry.

Possible Solutions

Complex problems need innovative solutions. We recognize that St Albert is made up of remarkable people with vast experiences, and we need your help to tackle this. To avoid either raising taxes or reducing services the City is looking to crowdsource ideas of new revenue streams. We know that change is needed but that doesn’t make it easy and each person is going to respond to change in different ways. You are an expert at living in this community, and have your own personal experience with change so we'd like to hear from you on how we can help manage it. And finally, we would like you to tell us how we should be communicating back to the community.

How to Participate:

Please use the IDEAS tool to share your revenue generating ideas.

Please use the FORUM tool to share your thoughts on managing necessary change.

Please use the SURVEY tool to share your thoughts on how we should communicate back to the community.

Need more information? Please use the QUESTIONS tool below.

*Please note: Ideas provided by PFSTC Moderator have come in through other channels.


Severe provincial cuts to municipal funding are incoming, and even the most well-prepared municipality is in for a rough ride.” St Albert Gazette Editorial, March 10, 2021

Current Problem

Municipalities provide a variety of important services to residents and businesses but are increasingly challenged with rising costs and limited or decreasing revenue. There are limits on how the City can generate revenue and reductions in funding from grants, the Province and other sources is imminent. Current forecasting predicts that in order to maintain current service and maintenance levels, the City would require 4 to 5 per cent tax increases in 2022 and beyond - higher than the average property tax rate over the last 10 years of 1.8 per cent. Beyond 2022, the City will also be required to collect education taxes on behalf of the Province; so while completely outside the City's control these will also be added to residents' annual assessment and property tax notice.

Because of some COVID provincial relief funding, we are able to temporarily offset these increases to about 2.5 to 3 per cent for 2022 and 2023. However this is only time limited, so we have about two years to identify, plan for, and implement new revenue streams to offset this challenge. To offset every 1 per cent tax increase, we need approximately $1.2 million.

Current Measures

The City of St. Albert has undertaken a variety of measures to review and reduce City expenditures including, but not limited to, the Organizational Review in 2018, Priority Based Business Planning and Budgeting, and the Ernst & Young Fiscal and Operational Review. Even before these initiatives, St. Albert has always strived to be diligent on the cost side with operating expenses per capita below average for comparable communities, according to both Alberta Municipal Affairs and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and our debt per capita is low when compared to similar communities in Alberta. For more information, view excerpts from the CAO 2021 Budget Presentation.

While we are committed to continue examining the cost-side of the fiscal equation, it is recognized that generating new revenue streams will be essential for the future in a way that doesn't take business from industry.

Possible Solutions

Complex problems need innovative solutions. We recognize that St Albert is made up of remarkable people with vast experiences, and we need your help to tackle this. To avoid either raising taxes or reducing services the City is looking to crowdsource ideas of new revenue streams. We know that change is needed but that doesn’t make it easy and each person is going to respond to change in different ways. You are an expert at living in this community, and have your own personal experience with change so we'd like to hear from you on how we can help manage it. And finally, we would like you to tell us how we should be communicating back to the community.

How to Participate:

Please use the IDEAS tool to share your revenue generating ideas.

Please use the FORUM tool to share your thoughts on managing necessary change.

Please use the SURVEY tool to share your thoughts on how we should communicate back to the community.

Need more information? Please use the QUESTIONS tool below.

*Please note: Ideas provided by PFSTC Moderator have come in through other channels.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
Discussions: All (1) Open (1)
  • Managing Change

    5 months ago
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    When the time comes to introduce change, what should the City consider in helping support community members in adapting to changes?