City Council confirms fall budget adjustments
November 28, 2023

City Council completed fall budget adjustment discussions today, approving a number of changes to the 2023-2026 budget to arrive at property tax levy increases of 6.6 per cent in 2024, 5.3 per cent in 2025 and 4.7 per cent in 2026.

The adjustments allow the City to respond to higher than forecast costs and lower than forecast revenues in order to continue to deliver on the 70 services in the four-year budget: maintaining the roads, bridges, pathways and transit that move people; delivering the emergency services and social supports people count on, and activating attractions, recreation centres, sports fields and parks that make Edmonton a great place to call home.

The budget adjustments will maintain most City services at current levels. Council also approved over $16 million in increases to services, including:
  • Operating the new Metro Line LRT to the new NAIT Station
  • Adding more bus service hours to improve public transit access and align to service standards
  • Increasing the response on encampments and support for unsheltered Edmontonians
  • Expanding library service at Heritage Valley
  • Advancing the work on Edmonton's Anti-Racism Strategy 

These adjustments are in addition to the $142.4 million in new operating funding that Council approved in December 2022, which included more funding for affordable housing, increased transit service, increased snow and ice funding, and energy transition and climate adaptation initiatives.

Council approved a number of changes to reduce the tax increase, including leveraging an $8 million increase in the EPCOR dividend and finding another $9 million in savings and efficiencies. 

Council also approved several capital adjustments, resulting in a $105 million increase to the capital budget. This is an increase to the approved $10.3 billion capital budget of less than one per cent. The adjustments include:
  • $15.8 million to buy 20 new diesel buses
  • $22.9 million to deliver affordable housing projects and take advantage of available funding from other orders of government
  • $15.3 million for critical renewal projects, including technology and equipment such as cellular service in LRT tunnels and police equipment

The City will continue to deliver on more than 200 projects in the 2023-2026 capital budget that Council approved in December 2022, including the Valley Line West LRT expansion, the Yellowhead Trail Freeway Conversion, the Lewis Farms Recreation Centre, the Active Transportation Implementation Acceleration, and ramps at 137 Avenue and Anthony Henday Drive.

“After a lot of discussion, we have completed our budget deliberations. This was my 11th budget adjustment, and by far the toughest one I’ve been a part of,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “And, while we had to make some difficult decisions, I’m proud of this Council for working together to protect the core services that Edmontonians rely on while keeping property taxes manageable. The 2023-2026 budget set a plan for us to invest in our city’s present and future, and this adjustment ensures we are able to maintain what Edmontonians deserve and expect from us.”

While the City of Edmonton is facing increased expenses in utilities, fuel and the costs of goods that are essential for operations, City Administration continues to work to find efficiencies and reduce costs. In 2024, Administration will manage $26 million in additional costs caused by inflation and population growth within the approved budget, which is equivalent to a 1.3 per cent property tax increase.

“In passing these budget amendments, Council has provided direction about how the City is responding to economic conditions and reflecting Edmontonians’ service priorities. Administration is taking this direction, continuing our work to find efficiencies and savings, and will implement adjustments to 70 lines of business to reflect this direction,” said City Manager Andre Corbould. 

The tax levy increase will affect property owners differently, depending how their property’s assessed value compares to the market. An average Edmonton household would pay about $747 in property taxes for every $100,000 of their assessed home value in 2024, an increase of $45 compared to 2023. This equates to $8.71 per day. The City will send out 2024 property assessments in January.

The fall supplemental operating and capital budget adjustments are part of the City Council-approved multi-year budgeting approach. These adjustments are scheduled twice a year so the City can respond to significant changes that have happened since the budget was set. The spring supplemental operating budget adjustment will take place in April 2024, and the capital budget adjustment will take place in June 2024.
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