City Council has concluded budget deliberations for 2024 with a decision to increase taxes by 3.28%.
Budget 2024 focuses on delivering the same quality and service levels residents expect, while balancing rising costs, revenue constraints, and sustainability.
Efforts were made to mitigate the tax increase as much as possible while balancing service standards, including reductions in both the operating and capital budgets. Funding increases were only proposed where there are contractual obligations, or requirements based on price increases. Transfers from Council’s Strategic Fund and the Financial Stabilization Reserve for a total of $1 million were approved to reduce the tax impact on residents.
Since 2019, inflation has out-paced tax rate changes by over 16.54%, while tax increases have been a cumulative 3.18%, keeping tax rate increases below average of comparable municipalities.
Statements from the Mayor and Chief Financial Officer
“The fiscal landscape this year required careful deliberation, innovation and prudent financial management.Budget 2024 ensures we have the resources required to deliver on Council’s strategic priorities with the service level standards our community expects from us, while balancing rising costs of living and inflationary pressures felt across every industry. We believe the budget approved ensures we are able to provide our essential services, stimulate economic growth, and support the community’s needs and wants for the coming year.”
- Chief Financial Officer, Danielle Whiteway
"Over the last six years, our City has taken many steps to maximize services while streamlining processes and budgets. Each service has a cost and Council and I are immensely proud of the value and quality of services offered by the City to the community.
Looking ahead to 2024, City Council entered budget deliberations knowing it costs more to run a home, a business or organization today than a year ago. The City of Grande Prairie is also feeling these increases. Recognizing this, Council’s budget decisions were thoroughly considered and debated to prioritize the services and amenities in our community while staying sharply aware of today's broader fiscal reality. As a result, Council has collectively determined that a 3.28% tax raise is needed for the 2024 City budget to maintain services.
Reviewing, discussing, and finalizing a municipal budget is always challenging. This work cannot take place without the many dedicated and community-driven staff within the City of Grande Prairie, all of whom I want to thank for their advice, diligence, and thoughtfulness during this year’s budget cycle."
- Mayor Jackie Clayton
- $16,850,000 in roads, bridges, pedestrian links, intersection improvements
- Increased funding for asphalt maintenance
- $300,000 for playground resurfacing and replacement
- $50,000 for the Healthcare Attraction and Retention Strategy
- $50,000 for the Indigenous Relations Framework
- $264,200 for the 2024 Census
- 5% funding increase for the Grande Prairie Public Library
A Priority Based approach to budgeting is used for the City’s 300+ services to allocate funding based on alignment with the Strategic Plan.
Council approved the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan on May 2, 2022. This document guides Council and City Administration’s decisions over the course of their term.
Council’s overarching priority in the plan is Quality of Life. Focus is on ensuring Grande Prairie remains a place where all current and future residents “want to live, learn, work and play.” To achieve these, the plan is built on the following pillars:
- Innovative Efficiencies & Economic Readiness
- Inclusive Caring Community
- Engaging Relationships
The City of Grande Prairie conducted engagement from September to October 2023 to gauge public feedback for the 2024 budget. The engagement focused on gathering feedback on services and programs most valuable to residents and developing a budget that aligns with Council’s 2022-2025 Strategic Priorities. Over 1000 people visited the online engagement page and 125 attended the in-person event. The full report on the engagement is available at engage.cityofgp.com/budget2024.
The 2024 Budget will be ratified at the November 27, 2023 City Council meeting.
The full budget will be available at cityofgp.com/budget.