As Red Deer City Council prepares to debate the 2017 Operating budget, we would like to encourage Council to strive for a budget that requires no increase to taxes.
As presently proposed, Red Deer will see a tax increase of 2.51 per cent. In 2016, the residential to non-residential tax ratio was 2.17, meaning businesses pay a little over twice as much in property tax on the assessed value of the property. Whether directly, or through rental costs, property taxes represent a substantial cost to the bottom-lines of Red Deer businesses.
During this extraordinary and delicate time in our economy, The City of Red Deer would benefit by exercising the fiscal restraint needed to realize a 0% increase to the Operating Budget.
If taxes are to increase, businesses capable of passing on additional costs will; however, many are unable to and will need to find ways to reduce costs. We fear the additional cost will lead to reductions in business and consumer spending and possibly even further layoffs.
“Our economy continues to operate in a fragile state thanks to a moderate outlook for growth tempered by low oil prices and the additional costs that have been layered upon business such as the minimum wage increase, small business dividend increase, and now the carbon tax. Avoiding an increase to municipal taxes would prevent another cost increase from being layered upon business during this uncertain time while improving the economic recovery, and increasing the attractiveness of Red Deer as a place to do business,” said Interim CEO, Rick More.