After 12 days of discussing all services and programs, Banff Town Council completed the 2022 budget, which plans for $ 20.2 million in tax-supported spending in 2022, a 4% increase over 2021.
The 2022 budget includes nearly $ 700,000 in tax-supported spending on new and already approved projects, such as National Indigenous Day, work to create an Indigenous framework, the Train Station rink, waste diversion tactics, increased local bus service, and return of a subsidy for residents who use the Sally Borden Pool at the Banff Center.
Non-tax-funded service enhancements are estimated at $ 1.7 million. Projects funded by excess revenue from guest parking fees include free transit on local Banff routes, additional winter bus service, a discount program for e-bikes, and improved snow and ice control at intersections.
The Banff Avenue pedestrian zone is set to go ahead again in 2022 and will be funded by the Economic Recovery Reserve. The environmental reserve will fund projects such as community environmental subsidies, a conifer tree replacement program, a climate action campaign, and a campaign to encourage more visitors to use Roam Transit.
“This is a ‘restraint’ budget that acknowledges the current challenges and anticipated recovery from the pandemic this year while maintaining our focus on strategic priorities for Banff,” said Mayor Corrie DiManno. “Banffites are receiving good value for this budget. I am pleased that we are utilizing reserves for many new service enhancements and initiatives, rather than taxes. The investments in this budget shows we are an environmentally focused community that wants to build forward out of the pandemic. We are doing our part in climate change action, getting more people using transit and active modes of transportation, adding more affordable housing, helping our community recover economically, and continuing to build relationships with Indigenous Peoples in the region.”
“This is a ‘restraint’ budget that acknowledges the current challenges and anticipated recovery from the pandemic this year while maintaining our focus on strategic priorities for Banff,”– Mayor Corrie DiManno
The 2022 budget also mobilizes 21 million dollars of infrastructure projects such as:
- reconstruction of underground utilities and road/trail surfaces for St. Julien Road
- expanding the solar energy array at the Fenlands Recreation Centre as well as adding a weights/cardio room and an indoor lawn in the summer that covers one ice rink
- start of pre-project work on the new Cave Avenue apartment building
- completion of the Aster project of affordable housing
- adding more recycling and organic waste neighborhood bins
- completion of the Nancy Pauw pedestrian bridge
- a lane addition study for downtown bound buses on Mountain Avenue inside town limits and on Spray Avenue
- the ongoing refurbishment of the Banff Recreation Grounds, including the newly designated horse trails, trails connecting the new pedestrian bridge and the start of construction of a pavilion for sports and leisure users.
Capital budget expenditures in 2022 are 16.5% lower than in 2021. The Town usually has (before the pandemic) tax-funded transfers of approximately $ 4.5 million in capital reserves each year to build funding for future projects. To reduce taxes this year, Banff’s transfer of reserves in 2022 was held to $ 3.1 million.
The total tax levy required to finance services and programs increased by 1.6% due to inflation of costs of existing services, and 2.43% due to a return to pre-pandemic service levels and new services. , to an overall increase of 4.03% of the property tax levy. . The overall tax levy was reduced by 17% in 2020 to reduce taxes for people and businesses affected by the pandemic.
The average home (unit with separate entrance) in Banff costs $ 461,100. For this typical housing, the budget for 2022 is estimated to result in a monthly tax increase of $ 16 over 2021 or an increase of $ 195 for the year. This would result in an estimated $ 91 per month or $ 1,092 per year in total municipal property taxes.
This only applies to the municipal part of the property tax bill. After the Alberta government sets a budget for 2022 on February the 24th the Province will send a requisition to Banff and all other municipalities to collect provincial education taxes from all property owners. Banff Town Council will set the final tax rates in the spring. Until then, the tax increase is an estimate and only applied to the municipal portion of the property tax bill.
The pandemic has reduced the value of commercial real estate, especially hotels, while housing has maintained or increased its value. As a result, limits on how much Alberta municipalities can increase the commercial portion of property taxes mean that the 2022 budget see approximately a:
- 20% increase over 2021 for residential properties
- 3% decrease over pre-pandemic 2019 for residential properties
- 9% decrease over 2021 for hotel/accommodation properties
- 13% decrease over pre-pandemic 2019 for hotel/accommodation properties
- 14% increase over 2021 for other business properties
- 13% increase over pre-pandemic 2019 for other business properties
The total levy required by Banff has residential property owners contributing approximately 25% and commercial property owners paying approximately 75% of the required taxes.
Visit https://banff.ca/ServiceReview for final documents on operating and capital budgets and current reserves.