2023-2024 Capital and Operating Budgets

Administration presented the proposed 2023-2024 Budget to City Council during a regular City Council meeting on Monday, November 7, 2022. Following that, public had the opportunity to provide feedback to City Council from November 8 until November 18, 2022. 

City Council deliberated the proposed budget on November 28 through December 5, 2022. The outcomes of the six-day deliberations include an approved 2023-2024 budget with a 4.61 per cent municipal increase in 2023 and 4.12 per cent in 2024.

A 4.61 per cent municipal tax increase for 2023 does not mean that each individual property tax bill will change by that amount; the final amount will be determined once requisitions are provided to The City next spring. Individual property taxes may be lower, higher, or about the same based on how an individual property is assessed. Properties that experience a change in value below the average will see an increase that is below the average, while properties that experience a change in value above the average change will see an increase that is above the average.

The approved increase of 4.61 per cent in 2023 equates to an additional $6,501,749 in municipal tax revenue, and for 2024 an additional $6,125,835 in municipal tax revenue for a total of $12,627,586 over two years. In relation to a typical home assessed at $345,000 in Red Deer, this would equal a property tax increase of $114.81 per year, $9.57 per month, or an average weekly increase of only $2.21 towards the services Red Deerians rely on each day.

Some of the highlights of the 2023-2024 Budget include:

  • increased funding for Red Deer Emergency Services staff
  • funding towards the revitalization of Centennial Plaza Park
  • funding to explore an Indigenous Cultures Centre
  • a review of the Snow & Ice Control policy in 2023
  • long-range financial plan and services review
  • increases to several fees and charges, like recreation, transit and utilities (implementation late 2023)
  • a special dividend of $800,000 one-time in each year of 2023-2024 from the Electrical Utility
  • changes to Community Grant Funding, by adding specific one-time funding for Central Alberta Crime Prevention and increased one-time funding towards Sport and Recreation objectives
  • a review of The City’s debt limit policy

The 2023 and 2024 Budgets are about ensuring City services are here, safe and available to all our residents. To ensure our City is open for business, and ready for visitors,

One-page summary of the 2023-2024 Budget (pdf)

Capital project highlight sheets:

What is an operating budget?

The operating budget shows the day-to-day costs of delivering programs and services for the next year. These costs are similar to your everyday household expenses such as mortgage payments, utilities or groceries.

What is a capital budget?

The capital budget indicates the funds needed for a specific year of the 10-year capital planning period. It is how we pay for major projects such as reconstructing streets; building and improving public facilities such as recreation facilities, community centres, parks and fire halls; dealing with growth pressures such as new streets; and new initiatives. These costs are similar to adding an addition to your home this year.

How are capital and operating budgets funded?

See attached chart for a full breakdown of how we fund capital and operating projects.

2023-24 Budget Chart (pdf)

What direction did administration take to build the 2023-2024 budgets?

Recognizing the reality of today, The City had to find ways to reduce our budget asks to stay within guidelines to reach the tax increase based on Council direction given in March 2022.

There were nine guidelines approved by Council:

  • Property tax increase of 4.7% in 2023, and 4.3% in 2024, equating to about $6 million in additional revenues.
  • Capital amenities and growth contribution of 1% for 2023 and 2024 to help with building back our reserves.
  • User fees and charges to be reviewed and implemented in 2023 in compliance with Council policy.
  • One time funding from reserves in 2023 and 2024 of $750,000 per year to support Council's Strategic Plan implementation.
  • Explore utilities revenue, and what would be required to achieve a utility dividend of $3 million in 2023 and 2024
  • Increase reserve levels
  • Change the Capital Contingency Policy to allow the City Manager to address new projects from a maximum of $50,000 per project and $200,000 a year.
  • Bring forward an operating contingency policy, like the Capital Contingency Policy.
  • Bring forward a tax supported operating reserve policy for emergent and urgent issues.