Property taxes in Edmonton will go up by 3.2 per cent next year, a slight decrease from the target council began debating in November and significantly down from the five-per-cent hike that was projected in the spring.
Council approved the tax increase Thursday as part of the city's $2.7 billion operating budget for 2018.
The increase means people living in an average home with an assessed value of $397,000 will pay $77 more in property tax next year. In 2017, the property tax on that home was $2,385. It will go up to $2,462 next year.
Nearly half of the tax increase — 1.4 per cent — will be directed to the city's neighbourhood renewal program, which upgrades and rebuilds roads, sidewalks and streetlights in existing communities. Several areas, including Allendale, Bellevue/Virginia Park, Newton, Prince Charles and Spruce Avenue, are slated for improvements in 2018.
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In addition to the neighbourhood revitalization work, the tax increase was necessary to cover infrastructure and services, the Valley Line LRT, inflation and growth for police services.
The operating budget also includes $3 million to maintain the turf on the city's 1,500 fields, which includes mowing and using an herbicide to tackle Edmonton's annual dandelion problem.
Mayor Don Iveson said he's proud of the way city staff were able to whittle down the tax increase.
Council also approved $1.4 billion for the 2018 capital budget, which includes new fire stations, upgrading libraries, a police division and transit garage.