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City of Edmonton has a spending problem

Author: Kris Sims 2023/11/28
  • Edmonton city hall hikes taxes by 6.6 per cent

 

LETHBRIDGE, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Edmonton City Hall to rein in its salaries and spending splurges in the wake of its 6.6 per cent property tax hike.

“Ordinary working people didn’t get a nearly seven per cent pay increase this year, so what makes Edmonton city hall think these folks can afford this property tax hike?” asked Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “The city clearly has a spending problem and it’s wasting taxpayers’ money on electric buses that don’t work.”

Edmonton city councillors passed a 6.6 per cent property tax increase at city hall this afternoon.

Budget documents show spending at Edmonton city hall has jumped.

Between 2014 and 2023, total spending at the city went from $2.2 billion to an estimated $3.4 billion, a spending increase of about 54 per cent. The population of Edmonton increased by about 17 per cent over that same period.

Meanwhile, the city has a growing list of spending issues.

Reports show Edmonton spent about $60 million on a fleet of electric buses, but about 75 per cent of them are stuck in maintenance bays, needing constant repair and adjustments. The company that manufactures parts for the electric bus fleet has since gone bankrupt.

Last year, Edmonton City Hall decided to spend $100 million on bicycle lanes, in a city that can see snow on the roads from September to May.

After taking a raise this year, Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi is paid a salary of $211,488 per year, while the city’s 12 councillors are each paid $119,484. The premier of Alberta, by comparison, is paid $186,180 per year.

“The people of Edmonton should remember they have the option of recall legislation and they can force a byelection for their city councillor if they think they’re doing a bad job,” said Sims.

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