The Town of Drumheller is paying a little now so the rest of us won't have to pay until later.
 
Town Council passed their 2017 operating budget at their Tuesday, February 21 regular meeting and there is no increase in the tax rate.
 
"The town always likes to put as much money as possible into the reserves," allowed mayor Terry Yemen. "The town has been hit hard with the (carbon) tax levy that the Provincial Government has put in; that will be part of the money that will not be going into the reserves and it was felt that because of the tough times and everybody suffering, it was prudent to give people a break."
 
In order to keep the municipal portion of your property taxes at 2016 levels, the town had to transfer $120,000 from the accumulated surplus.
 
"These are tough times, people are hurting and we can get by as long as it doesn't start to pour," explained Yemen. "Probably, (for) council in 2018 or 2019, it may have an effect then. Certainly, if things stay status quo, there will be some tough decisions to make then."
 
While there is no increase in the mill rate, water and sewer rates jump by five and two per cent respectively.
 
"We continue to go on a self funded utility, it's the model that's being accepted," remarked the mayor. "There's a few communities that are trying to get there now, (but) Drumheller did take the lead on it and we're one of a number of communities that have self funded utilities."
 
The town's water and waste water systems are expected to fall more than $300,000 short of break even in the coming year, but Yemen says that will be made up from reserves and the new, higher water and sewer fees.
 
 
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