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LETTER: City council must aim for zero-per-cent tax increase

Councillors must keep in mind the personal budgeting adjustments the public has had to make as a result of inflation.
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In case you haven’t noticed, we are experiencing an inflation crisis. St. Albert's projected 2023 municipal tax increase of 7.2 per cent, and call from council to explore options in the range of three to five per cent is give-your-head-a-shake news. What rock has council been hiding under?

Our family has endured property-tax increases every year since moving from Edmonton in 1999. We and our extended family, like so many others, have had to make personal budgeting adjustments that council does not seem to understand. Everyone is struggling with costs; last June, natural gas was at $3 per gigajoule — this June 2022 it was $8, and will soon be up to $9. It’s summer, our furnace hasn’t been on in weeks, and our last Direct Energy bill was $99. We don’t have the luxury of voting ourselves increases to ease the pain, nor can we look forward to any increases in our old-age pensions as per the federal government’s lack of action. 

I’m challenging St. Albert city council to stay within their budget and aim for a zero-per-cent increase. Keep your hands out of our pockets and come up with ideas on how to keep within your budget. Make some positive decisions rather than the usual “raise the taxes” mandate that this city seems to adopt each year — it would be a welcome change in this economy. It’s too easy to take the increase route, rather than to really sit down and go through the expenses.

Again, keep in mind any of council's actions or lack of action will be reflected when it’s time for re-election. We have long-term memories when it comes to how our personal expenses have been affected.

Joyce Kay, St. Albert