Banff residents hit by tax increase

Banff residents will be hit with higher taxes following cuts in the provincial budget.

Hike in wake of provincial budget brings rates level with rest of Alberta

Banff residents will see a 16.3 per cent increase in their education taxes to the province as a result of the provincial budget. (CBC)

The Town of Banff says residents are going to be hit with higher taxes — but won't see the benefits.

Banff and Jasper residents have had a preferential education tax rate for more than 10 years.

But last month's budget cancelled that rate relief, so the national park residents will pay a lot more to the provincial government.

"By removing that preferred tax rate it means that the Banff residential taxpayer will pay 16.3 per cent more to the provincial government in education tax, which is not directly at all related to the funding that the Banff schools get," says Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen.

The province's Municipal Sustainability Initiative typically helps the town off-set its small tax base, but now that grant is also decreasing.

"We need to maintain our infrastructure at a higher standard than maybe some small towns of 8,000 people," Sorensen says. "Both environmentally, for sure, and to remain competititve in the global tourism marketplace."

Banff attracts about 3.3 million visitors each year.