The budget is one of the most critical policy decisions Council makes each year. Careful budgeting and sound financial decisions mean better services for our communities and ensure taxpayers are getting the best value for their money.

Everything the County does has an associated cost. Whether it is a direct service such as policing, snow removal, and the labour and equipment for road maintenance; or an indirect cost such as maintaining our facilities. Council and staff spend a great deal of time making sure careful financial decisions are aligned with taxpayer expectations.

Council approved the 2021 budget with a zero per cent increase to tax rates. For budget details, read the media release and Making Sense of the 2021 Budget Fact Sheet:  

You can also find more information about our Rates & Fees and Property Taxes.

Financial Statements:

Prior Year Financial Statements

Financial Statements are based on a calendar year of operations and are completed and audited or reviewed annually.

2020 Financial Statements (Audited)

2019 Financial Statements (Audited)

2018 Financial Statements (Audited)

2017 Financial Statements (Audited)

2016 Financial Statements (Audited)

2015 Financial Statements (Audited)

2014 Financial Statements (Audited)

 

Hythe residents joined the County on July 1, 2021 as the hamlet of Hythe. Residents can view prior village Financial Statements:

2020 Village of Hythe Financial Statements (Audited)

2019 Village of Hythe Financial Statements (Audited)

More information

The following Guide from Alberta Municipal Affairs  will help you have a more clearer understanding of how to read the financial statements and explain what everything means. If you have would like to discuss any of the financial documents, please contact the Director of Corporate Services at 780-532-9722.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do municipalities have to develop budgets?

Under Alberta's Municipal Government Act, every municipality is required to develop a three-year operating budget and five-year capital budget to allocate revenues and expenditures for their municipality.

What is an operating budget?

An operating budget is a financial plan that balances the expected costs administration believes the county will incur in the general day-to-day activities which is primarily funded through taxation and grants. The operating budget makes up the day-to-day costs needed to provide the services and programs that County residents expect and rely on. Examples include enforcement and fire services, parks and recreation facilities, and County staff salaries.

What is a capital budget?

The County's capital budget is like purchasing a home or vehicle – it funds major fixed assets for the future. At home, capital costs include your home, vehicles and renovations. At the County, capital purchases include machinery, vehicles, buildings, bridges and roads.

How does the County fund the budgets, and what do your budget expenses fund?

Council and Administration work hard to calculate exactly how much money is necessary to fund the programs and services in the operating and capital budgets and then generate the funds from multiple sources including taxable property assessments, net transfers from reserve, transportation levies and revenue generated from departments, federal and provincial grants and user fees and sale of goods.

Everything the County does has an associated cost, whether it is a direct service such as policing, snow removal and the purchasing of a vehicle to use for road maintenance or an indirect cost such as maintaining our facilities and running the municipality.

What is a reserve?

A reserve is like a savings account. Every year, the County puts funds into reserves. Money is only taken out of a reserve when needed and used for critical capital and operational budget items. The advantage of putting money into reserves is that interest accrues on a large portion of the balance.

The County has set various requirements for usage, funding, and level of saving for each of it's reserves. Which is detailed in our policies.

How is debt used?

The County typically only uses debt to fund critical capital projects, where there are no funds available, through grants or in reserves. Municipal regulations set by the Province set a limit on how much debt municipalities can use.

How is the County's yearly budget set?

Council begins by developing an understanding of the challenges that may be faced and the priorities to be pursued. This information is outlined in the Strategic Plan.

What is a Strategic Plan?

The Strategic Plan guides us in our short- and long-term planning and serves as a foundation upon which the County's Business Plan, master plans, division and department plans, and annual budgets are developed.

When does the County approve the budget?

The County approves an interim budget in the fall annually for the following year. The finalized budget is approved in the spring once the Province sets the final property tax levy for education requisitions, and when property assessment values have been confirmed. Tax rates are then finalized during a budget deliberation meeting held by Council every April.

What is a municipal tax mill rate?

The County sets the tax mill rate and is what property owners pay in municipal taxes. The tax mill rate does not include the education and seniors' foundation levies that all municipalities including the County must collect on behalf of the provincial government. The tax bill that property owners receive every May includes the tax mill rate and the provincial education tax and Grande Spirit Foundation tax.

How much will the average household pay in residential property taxes?

Council approved no increase to the municipal tax rate. In 2021, an average residential property valued at $435,000 will pay a total property tax bill of $2,872.70: 

  • $1,772.63 for the municipal services portion (stays with the County of Grande Prairie) 

  • $1,080.45 for provincial education (provided to the Province of Alberta) 

  • $19.62 for seniors lodging (provided to the Grande Spirit Foundation) 

How are property values assessed?

Residential property values are based on the home's market value, which is the price a property is reasonably expected to sell for if sold by a willing seller to a willing buyer. Assessors gather information on ranges of sale prices in the marketplace and use these sales to determine the assessed values. In setting the values on a property, assessors complete the valuation using mass appraisal techniques and statistical data as part of the process for calculating market value assessments.

It is important to note that some types of property such as farmland, machinery & equipment, and linear are assessed using provincially regulated rates, and therefore have different valuation standards than market value.

Some types of property such as farmland, machinery & equipment, and linear are assessed using provincially regulated values and therefore have different valuation standards than market value.

For more information on property assessment, contact the Assessment department at 780-532-9722 or visit the Assessment page. Further details, check out Municipal Affair's Guide to Property Assessment and Taxation in Alberta.

Why has my municipal taxes increased since 2020 with no increase to the municipal tax rate?

Upon receiving your tax notice in May of 2021, it's important to understand that the assessed values of your property are based on a valuation date of July 1, 2020 and what was physically on your property as of December 31, 2020.

Increased to your total property tax bill can be attributed to an increase in the assessed value of your property from the previous year and/or education taxes set by and collected on behalf of the Province.  

What is budget for 2021?

The overall $170.8 million budget includes estimated expenditures of $82 million for general operations, $88.8 million for capital and $5.8 million for debenture principle payments. 

What are your tax dollars spent on?

View the Making Sense of the 2021 Budget Fact Sheet above for a break down of your municipal tax dollars at work. 

What are the changes to fees in 2021?

  • Curbside waste collection service fees will increase from $9.50 to $9.75 bi-monthly, and for recycling collection from $4.75 to $5.00 bi-monthly. 
  • Land Lease for Commercial and Industrial use has changed from market value per acre/year to $400, and for Agricultural and Recreational use from market value $0.60 per acre/year. 
  • Environmental enquiries decreased from $200 per request to $20. 
  • Administration fees for Subdivision and Development, and Joint Assessment Board appeals increased from $75 to $500. 

Details are available in the Fees, Rates and Charges Bylaw.

When are taxes due?

Property tax payments are due by 6 p.m. on June 30, 2021. Payments made after this date and time will be subject to a penalty. Payments can be made:  

  • Online using your Visa or MasterCard credit card (subject to a 2.2% convenience fee); 
  • Through banking institutions using online banking or by visiting in person; 

  • By cheque mailed to the County Administration Building, 10001-84 Avenue, Clairmont, AB T8X 5B2; and  

  • In-person, starting May 25, at the County Administration building 

Operating hours for the County Administration Building will be extended from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on June 28, 29 and 30 to accommodate property tax payments. Guidelines for the safety of visitors and staff will be in place  

Where do I pay my taxes?

Payments can be made:  

  • Online using your Visa or MasterCard credit card (subject to a 2.2% convenience fee); 

  • Through banking institutions using online banking or by visiting in person; 

  • By cheque mailed to the County Administration Building, 10001-84 Avenue, Clairmont, AB T8X 5B2; and  

  • In-person, starting May 25, at the County Administration building.

Operating hours for the County Administration Building will be extended from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on June 28, 29 and 30 to accommodate property tax payments. Guidelines for the safety of visitors and staff will be in place  

Are there any payment options where I can divide my payments up instead of paying in one lump sum?

Property owners can enroll in a Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP) where they can choose to divide their tax payments into six monthly payments throughout 2021; or make a six-month lump sum payment up front and pay the remaining balance in six monthly payments. To register for either option, property owners must enroll by June 30, 2021 by e-mailing Assessment Services or call 780-513-3952.

Who do I contact if I have more questions about my taxes?

Contact the Assessment Services department by e-mailing Assessment Services or call 780-513-3952.