Approved 2021 budget lands at zero per cent tax increase

December 1, 2020

Approved 2021 budget lands at zero per cent tax increase

On November 30, 2020, Strathcona County Council approved the 2021 budget at a zero per cent municipal tax increase for residential and non-residential properties.

The 2021 budget addresses the challenges of the COVID climate, maintains service levels and moves forward on projects identified as critical to our community.

“As we face this once in a generation economic and social crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is not the time to increase taxes and financial burden for residents,” says Mayor Rod Frank. “For the 2021 budget, we have kept taxes flat through wise use of reserves, grant optimization, efficiencies and moving resources to priority areas.”

The 2021 consolidated operating budget amounts to $377.6 million. COVID-19 has a $11.7 million negative financial impact on 2021 budget, resulting from projected reduced revenues and emerging costs for required cleaning and protective equipment. From reserves, the 2021 budget will use approximately $11.7 million to address the COVID-19 shortfall and $3 million to offset operating budget needs including: federal contract increases for RCMP; concept and design refinement for stimulating broadband in rural, commercial and industrial areas; organizational communications effectiveness; and enhancing mental health supports.

Mayor Frank adds, “Similar to one’s savings, reserves are in place to manage unforeseen circumstances, which we are experiencing in an unprecedented way. Dipping into reserves by three per cent to weather the storm is warranted, and many years of good fiscal management has given us the room to lessen the property tax impact on residents and businesses.”

Next year the County will look to prudent ways to replenish reserves.

The consolidated capital budget totals $58.9 million, and includes detailed design work for the proposed indoor multi-use fieldhouse, and the waste management roadmap. 

Utility fees for water, wastewater, stormwater management, and solid waste collection will increase by 1.19 per cent; an additional $1.41 per month or $16.92 per year for the average urban residential utility customer in 2021.

The final municipal tax rate is approved in the spring of 2021. Depending on how a property’s assessment changes relative to the average annual assessment, a property owner may see their property tax amount more or less than the zero per cent.

In addition to the municipal property tax requirement, the consolidated tax rate will factor in requisition amounts for provincial education, the Strathcona County Library (zero per cent increase for 2021), and the Heartland Housing Foundation (zero per cent increase for 2021).

More information on the 2021 budget is found at

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Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595