The City of Airdrie’s expenses have been rising faster than inflation for several years. I know that numbers can be a yawner for most people but it is very important to be aware of what our Council and City Administration are doing with our money. One particular area of concern that I have is the long term debt expenses which is expected to rise to $8,662,758 in 2020 according the 2020 Plan as outlined in the Approved 2019 Budget; $8 million is the annual expense which is an increase by $1.1 million from 2019. This loan expense is 5.8 per cent of total revenue and is expected to jump to $10.4 million in 2021 or 6.67 per cent of revenue. This might not sound like a lot based on the percentage of revenue but of course in order to pay for this interest cost alone our taxes are going to have to go up. For every dollar spent on loan payments is a dollar that cannot go to operating and keeping our tax base low.
The City is well within its legislated borrowing limits but that shouldn’t give Council and Administration the green light to continue to borrow which in turn leads to higher tax increases.