Added policing costs will burden Donnelly taxpayers

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Village of Donnelly council is upset that local taxpayers will have to pay as policing costs will be transferred to municipalities from the provincial government.

“We are very concerned that the RCMP funding is being downloaded on to municipalities,” Mayor Myrna Lanctot says as she commented on the provincial budget announced Feb. 25.

“The bottom line is that downloading these expenses on to the municipality means that our village taxpayers will see an increase in their tax bill.”

She notes that taxpayers struggling in the COVID-19 pandemic will be hit hard by the added costs.

“I am concerned some taxpayers may have been drastically affected by COVID by job loss or hours cut back; having to add the cost of policing to our tax will add a financial burden to them,” Lanctot says.

“This has been and should remain a federal/provincial responsibility,” Lanctot says.

“There is only one taxpayer and the lines between municipal taxes and provincial tax lines are becoming mixed into the municipal level just like the school tax.”

All programs managed by the provincial government need to be funded from the tax dollars they have already collected from taxpayers, she says.

“Don’t add to the municipal collection of taxation when we do not have a true say on how the program works or is rolled out,” Lanctot says.

“This is the same for school tax collection on the municipal tax bill.”

She says the village council has addressed its concerns to Central Peace – Notley MLA Todd Loewen and the provincial government.

“Council wrote a letter some time ago asking for the police funding to be removed from our municipal responsibility,” Lanctot says.

On an optimistic note in the provincial budget, she says she is happy to see that the Municipal Sustainability Initiative program to fund capital projects is still available for the next two years.

“Having the MSI intact was a positive,” Lanctot says.

“This continued funding will ensure more of our programs will stay intact for the time being.”

Presented in the budget, MSI funding will be reduced by 25 percent over the next three years starting in 2022.

Municipal Impacts of Police Funding Model
The Future Cost of Policing

Following is a list of selected municipalities in Northern Alberta, and what it will cost them for policing from 2020-24:

Municipality Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4-5

MacKenzie County $36,348 $105,784 $247,305 $531,567
Big Lakes County $188,802 $123,062 $57,604 $73,876
Birch Hills County $36,119 $54,217 $72,238 $108,434
Clear Hills County $89,005 $133,603 $178,009 $267,205
County of Northern Lights $109,705 $164,676 $219,411 $329,352
M.D. of Greenview $168,074 $412,636 $656,148 $1,145,271
M.D. of Lesser Slave River $105,820 $158,844 $211,640 $317,687
M.D. of Peace $38,304 $54,497 $76,607 $114,994
M.D. of Smoky River $52,619 $78,985 $105,237 $157,969
Northern Sunrise County $115,727 $173,715 $231,455 $347,431
Town of Fairview $57,864 $86,858 $115,727 $173,715
Town of Falher $18,556 $27,854 $37,112 $55,708
Town of Grimshaw $52,340 $78,567 $104,680 $157,133
Town of High Prairie $47,832 $71,799 $95,663 $143,598
Town of Manning $22,833 $34,275 $45,667 $68,550
Town of McLennan $13,735 $20,617 $27,470 $41,235
Town of Swan Hills $24,870 $37,331 $49,740 $74,663
Town of Valleyview $34,239 $51,396 $68,478 $102,791
Village of Donnelly $5,813 $8,725 $11,626 $17,451
Village of Girouxville $4,770 $7,160 $9,540 $14,320
Village of Nampa $7,174 $10,768 $14,347 $21,537

Editor’s note: In this formula, the Town of High Prairie was not recognized for the enhanced policing costs [they credited the total to Big Lakes county]. There will be an adjustment made.

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