Council gave three readings to the 2017 Tax Rate Bylaw. The overall tax levy increase is 5.93%. During budget preparation, it was estimated the overall tax increase would be 4.75%, but with the actual municipal levy, education levy, Bow Valley Regional Housing (BVRH) levy, and overall assessment growth factored, there was an increase in that figure. The education levy increased by 6.12% and the BVRH levy increased by 30.38%. The majority of that increase is related to large capital contributions for BVRH’s new lodge. An average residential dwelling unit in Banff assessed at $419,767 would see an annual increase in overall taxes of $138. An average non-residential property would be assessed at $5.07 million and would see an increase of $5,494. The commercial to residential municipal tax split is 3.852:1.
Council voted to allocate $150,000 from the environmental reserve to fund the 2017 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Incentive Program and directed administration to modify the program from a production based top-up incentive to an up-front rebate program. Participants will be funded per watt in a way that matches the new provincial solar program to a maximum of 7.5 kW. Full details of the provincial program are still to be determined, but Energy Efficiency Alberta has announced they will pay .75 cents per watt. Twenty-six applications have been received for the 2017 solar program. The program encourages homeowners and businesses to install solar systems to produce renewable electricity.
Council received a verbal update on the Housing Incentive Purchase Program’s eligibility guarantee. In order to take part in the program, employees must sign a legal document noting they do not own another property. Council had requested information on how the Town ensures employees do not own property prior to taking part in the program.
Council received a verbal update on parking improvements in town. Smart parking systems like those seen in the Bear Street parkade or at The Fenlands have been installed in another five lots. In the next few weeks, the number of available stalls in each will be added to the Traffic Dashboard at banff.ca/dashboard
. The islands installed in those lots separate vehicles entering and exiting, which allows for accurate counting. Landscaping and pavement arrows are also part of the project and will be added soon. In the four years of recording vehicle volumes, this was the busiest May long weekend in terms of the number of vehicles in Banff. On Sunday, May 21, counters recorded 31,614 vehicles.