For Immediate Release
April 28, 2021
TABER, ALBERTA – The Municipal District of Taber (MDOT) Council approved the Final 2021 OperatingBudget following their regular April 27th, 2021 Council meeting on Tuesday.
The newly approved operating budget projects a $972,946 operating budget deficit (2020 - $24,747 operating budget surplus), which includes a non-cash expense of $4,309,199 for amortization. With the non-cash expense of $4,309,199 for amortization, the 2021 Proposed Final Budget generates $3,012,466 in cash from operations that are to be allocated to capital expenditures or transferred to reserves to fund future expenditures.
The MDOT is continually exposed to potentially significant changes in linear oil and gas property assessment values, and/or additional uncollectable oil and gas property taxes. The 2021 Proposed Interim Budget includes a projected net decrease of $630,421 from 2020, in municipal property tax revenues, including projected uncollectable property taxes of $1,500,000. The MDOT had reserved $1,022,897 in 2020 (2019 - $645,954) as uncollectable property taxes attributable to oil and gas properties.
Our 2021 projected uncollectable property taxes exposure has been reduced from $2,117,000 down to $1,500,000. This amount is based on actual 2020 oil and gas property taxes collected, along with oil and gas property assessments in 2021.
Most residential properties will see a reduction in their total property taxes in 2021. The MDOT has budgeted to collect $15,413,471 in municipal property taxes (2020 - $15,460,892), which is $47,421 less than the previous year’s budgeted property tax revenues. No additional tax collections are budgeted for 2021.
“In this budget, we are doing our utmost not to collect additional taxes and wish to avoid further burdening residents as we face these fiscal challenges ahead,” explains Reeve Harris. “We intend to grow the MD of Taber’s economic potential so that we emerge from this financial downturn even stronger."
The MDOT has significantly reduced operating expenditures across the organization to accommodate the reductions in the assessment base. The MDOT’s total taxable assessment fell from $2,031,593,470 in 2020 down to $1,992,579,600 for 2021, a decrease of ~2.0%.
The Final 2021 Operating Budget includes an overall reduction of salaries and wages costs to $7,336,491 (2020 - $8,136,024) – a budget savings of $799,533 from the previous year.
The Final 2021 Operating Budget is projected to provide $3,012,466 (2020 - $2,868,806) in cash from operations. This is an increase of $143,660 from 2020. Cash funds from operations can be used for either capital budget requirements or transferred to reserves for use in future years.
The Final 2021 Operating and Capital Budget can be viewed on the MD of Taber website at www.mdtaber.ab.ca/p/operating-capital-budgets
Other Highlights include:
- Legislative Council budgeted expenditures decrease by $64,964 (-16.4%) to budgeted expenditures of $331,871, to reflect realized savings in current Council expenditures.
- Assessment services wages and materials expenditures budgets were consolidated with the contracted services' budget to include provision for present contract services arrangements.
- Fire and Emergency Services contracted services includes a $100,000 project allocation to explore the feasibility of potential next steps and options for a more formalized regional governance framework concerning the provision of Fire and Emergency Services for the MDOT, Town of Vauxhall and Village of Barnwell.
- Public Works capitalized construction of $1,288,230 in transfers to capital expenditures for the capitalized costs of construction removed from the 2021 budget to reflect reduced heavy road construction activities.
- This expenditure had been a transfer from operating expenditures and capitalized as assets acquired.
- Increase expenditures concerning the RCMP funding model of $101,570. 2021 RCMP funding model expenditures budgeted at $291,570.