The Government of Alberta has released Budget 2019: A plan for jobs and the economy
for the 2019-20 fiscal year and 2019-23 Fiscal Plan
The 2019-20 budget focuses on three key Government of Alberta priorities:
- Getting Albertans back to work – supporting investment to develop a foundation for sustainable economic growth
- Making life better for Albertans – implementing efficiencies in public services through program redesign while maintaining funding for core social services
- Standing up for Alberta – reinforcing Alberta’s contribution to the national economy to drive provincial economic growth
The Government of Alberta states the 2019-20 budget is positioning the province to be one of the most tax competitive jurisdictions in North America for investment while balancing the budget by 2022-23.
For a full breakdown of the budget and estimates, visit the Government of Alberta’s Budget 2019 webpage.
The following are details of the 2019-20 budget that will be important for RMA members:
- The Government of Alberta is expected to have an $8.7 billion deficit in the 2019-20 fiscal year, a slight reduction from the previous year. The deficit is targeted to decrease further to $5.1 billion in 2020-21, $1.9 billion in 2021-22, and become a $1.8 billion surplus in 2022-23.
- The 2019-20 Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding components are as follows:
- The MSI capital component is funded at $294 million.
- The MSI operating component is maintained at $30 million.
- The Basic Municipal Transportation Grant is funded at $347 million.
It is important to consider that these figures do not include $400 million in MSI funding that was diverted from the 2018-19 and 2019-20 budget years and advanced to municipalities in the 2017-18 budget year. When applying the $400 million advance to the 2019-20 budget year, total MSI funding is equivalent to $1.07 billion.
- The Government of Alberta is estimating a reduction in MSI funding in the upcoming 2020-21 and 2021-22 budget years as the MSI program begins to wind down.
- MSI funding in 2020-21 will be reduced by $94 million compared to 2019-20 levels.
- MSI funding in 2021-22 will be reduced by $142 million compared to 2019-20 levels.
- Following the 2022 expiration of MSI, the Local Government Fiscal Framework will replace MSI/Basic Municipal Transportation Grant and the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act. This will set baseline funding at a total of $860 million in 2023 ($455 million to be split between Edmonton and Calgary and $405 million for other municipalities). This funding will grow annually at half the rate of provincial revenue growth.
- The Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) has received $22.5 million, a decrease of $4 million from $26.5 million in 2018-2019.
- Orphan Well Abandonment program funding has increased from $45.5 million to $55.8 million, due to a combination of an increased number of orphan wells and more efficient administration of the program.
- The Education Property Tax Requisition is forecast at $2.5 billion, which is a slight increase ($17 million) from the previous budget year.
- This increase is based on freezing education tax mill rates to remain at the previous year’s level and deducting approximately $30 million from revenue to support two credit programs: The Provincial Education Requisition Program (PERC) and the Shallow Gas Tax Relief Initiative (SGTRI). The growth in education property tax revenue is the result of a growing assessment base.
- Education property taxes are estimated to increase gradually over the next three years.
- The residential/farm rate remains at $2.56 per $1,000 of equalized assessment, and the non-residential rate is $3.76 per $1,000 of equalized assessment.
The attached backgrounder
provides more budget highlights that may affect rural Alberta. The RMA will provide additional details through member bulletins as they become available. To view the complete budget and its supporting documents, please click here
Enquiries may be directed to:
Director of External Relations and Advocacy