The Municipal District of Bonnyville Council approved a $132,267,038 balanced 2019 budget, including operating and capital expenditures, on June 5. The total includes provincial school and Lakeland Housing requisitions.
Council reduced the Non-residential mill rate to 14.50 from 15.00, bringing the M.D. closer to the 5:1 non-residential/residential mill rate ratio. The Small Business Property Sub-Class (fewer than 50 full-time employees) mill rate is reduced to 13.05 from 13.50, representing a rate 10 percent lower than the non-resident mill rate. The Residential and Farmland mill rates are being held at 2.7663 and 5.000 respectively.
“Reducing the non-residential mill rates, and maintaining the small business sub-class, fulfills a promise made by this Council,” says Reeve Greg Sawchuk. “In the current economic climate, Council wants to help maintain the businesses we have and encourage new businesses to locate in the M.D..”
The 2019 budget will be funded through $76.7 million in municipal taxes, $10.6 million in government grants and contributions, $8.4 million from general revenues, such as fees, equipment replacement programs, and reserves. A further $36.6 million will come from transfers from surplus (reserve funds carried over from projects and funds remaining from previous years’ budgets). This year the M.D. is investing $53 million in capital projects (roads, equipment replacement, trails and buildings).
“Council is continuing to take a conservative path to ensure that the M.D. maintains a competitive business environment,” says Sawchuk. “Once again, Council has decreased the non- residential mill rate, bringing the M.D. closer to the 5:1 non-residential/residential mill rate ratio mandated by the provincial government and we have kept the small business property sub-class in place. Council believes that it will not significantly impact M.D. operations to achieve the ratio without raising the residential mill rate. By looking for efficiencies in our budget, Council intends to achieve the 5:1 ratio in 2020.”