Each year CAPRA provides feedback to the City of Red Deer’s Operating Budget. This is an opportunity to share insights on the impact of the budget for those living with a low income in Red Deer. This was the recommendation from the Policy Committee on proposed increases in property tax and utilities:
As you know, Red Deer’s top industry is retail trade and the top occupation is sales and service. These are typically low wage positions where people must work multiple jobs to make ends meet. These increases, while within the Council recommendations, are beyond the means of a significant number of local citizens.
In the Poverty in Red Deer: A Needs and Opportunities Assessment completed earlier this year thanks to a one-time grant approved by Red Deer City Council, it was identified that 13% of Red Deerians earn less than $30,000 a year which is 4,860 households. Furthermore, this report outlined the core housing needs in Red Deer (12.1%) are higher than the provincial average (11.4%) and two areas in the city are significantly higher at 24% (downtown) and 33.3% (South Hill). These are households that cannot afford an increase in the cost of housing.
Recommended increases in property taxes and utilities must be kept to 1.5%.
Read the full submission here – City’s 2020 Operating Budget.