Presently, County Council is considering a number of urban growth options for Strathcona County. It is well documented that the cost to provide municipal services always exceeds residential tax revenues. Municipalities require substantial commercial, industrial and provincial tax revenues to offset this shortfall, otherwise the burden inevitably falls on existing property tax payers.
Strathcona county residents enjoy a high level of service and lower levels of taxation due in no small part to significant tax revenues from existing businesses and heavy industry. Future urban expansion must take into account cost comparisons for available growth options to determine which are most cost effective, and must proceed at a scale and pace that does not exceed the growth in tax revenues from the county’s industrial and commercial base. To proceed otherwise could result in significant property tax increases for residential property owners and industry alike.
The costs of transportation access to any potential new urban growth area must be a major consideration which will require obtaining provincial support and the commitment of our provincial tax dollars prior to any decision being taken at the municipal level. Our tax dollars are our tax dollars, regardless of whether they are municipal or provincial, and must be managed responsibly.
STRATHCONA COUNTY COUNCIL MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE TAX IMPLICATIONS OF FUTURE LARGE SCALE URBAN GROWTH.
- COUNCIL NEEDS TO GUARANTEE CURRENT STRATHCONA COUNTY TAX PAYERS THAT FUTURE URBAN EXPANSION WITHIN THE COUNTY WILL NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT MUNICIPAL OR PROVINCIAL TAX RATES, OR CAUSE A DETERIORATION IN THE EXISTING LEVEL OF SERVICES.
- FUTURE URBAN GROWTH MUST BE DIRECTED TO THE AREAS WITH THE LOWEST FISCAL IMPACT.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE