The 2023 Strathcona County budget looks like it will include a tax increase. 

The county says that inflation has caused the price of fuel and materials to skyrocket over the last year. 

This rise in costs will impact the next budget and the county is proposing a 5.5 per cent tax revenue increase to help maintain services. 

Jennifer Cannon, the county's chief financial officer (CFO), is aware of the hardships that this has caused on the community. 

"To manage these challenges, many beyond the county’s control, we’ve leaned down even more from past years,” said Cannon. “In our 2023 budgeting, we’ve absorbed as much of the pressures as possible in order to reduce the tax burden on residents.”

The county has assessed the increase will result in an average of $105 additional dollars per year or $9 more per month (based on a residential property assessed at $430,000). 

Cannon says that only essential work is included in the next budget. 

“Strathcona County is a large municipality with a lot of assets to maintain, including 1,733 kilometres of urban and rural roads, and about two million square feet of facility space to light and heat. Given the escalating costs, that’s financial pressure,” said Cannon. “Importantly, the 2023 budget continues to fund annual maintenance programs to keep county assets in good shape." 

"Only critical new work is included, along with dollars to replenish reserves to maintain the county’s healthy financial picture in the long term.”

Strathcona County residents will have a chance to voice their thoughts on the budget in a public hearing set for this coming Monday (Nov. 21) at noon.