The municipality is proposing a much smaller budget compared to last year.
Wood Buffalo council will be holding budget meetings next week as they prepare to allocate their funds for 2020.
The proposed budget is being set at $718 million – $404 million for operating, $218 million for capital, and $96 million for debt reduction. This is down from the roughly $754 million that was approved for 2019.
Mayor Don Scott tells Mix News they need to keep lowering the budget as they move towards a 5:1 tax ratio.
“If the budget passed as it is drafted, we would be in the high 10’s, basically 10 to 1, so that’s a huge change because everyone will remember that we started off at around 19 to 1 – we were the highest in the province or one of the highest in the province.”
The new tax ratio was introduced by the previous provincial government. The current GoA is continuing the rate, giving the municipality time to adjust.
Scott says the municipality will have to make the tough decisions now and in the future.
“There’s a lot of (community organizations) that ask for funding and it’s a significant thing.”
The budget meetings will take place from November 27-30.
The public will be given a chance at the beginning of each meeting to share their thoughts.