City looks at tax hike for Yellowhead freeway project
A report going to city council next week recommends the city hike taxes by nearly two per cent to cover the costs of borrowing $500 million to transform Yellowhead Trail into a freeway.
The city's portion of a $1-billion, 10-year project to improve a 25-kilometre section of the Yellowhead is $510.8 million.
The rest will be covered by the provincial and federal governments, which have already committed their support.
The report going to council on Tuesday recommends a tax levy to cover borrowing costs on $510.8-million of tax-supported debt.
"This will require an increase in tax levy to pay for the servicing of this debt over the lifetime of the project," the report says.
"Overall, an estimated tax increase of 1.76 per cent is anticipated between the years 2017 to 2026 to fund debt servicing costs on the city's contribution."
1.76% tax increase could be coming to pay for Yellowhead project
Turning Yellowhead Trail into a free-flow freeway is going to cost Edmonton residents.
A report from the city suggests a 1.76 per cent tax increase between 2017 and 2026 to cover the City of Edmonton’s $510-million contribution to the Yellowhead Trail project.
The tax increase is based on projections of construction cost and interest rates.
The report will be presented to city council Tuesday, Feb. 21.
City council approves Yellowhead Trail spending
The city approved borrowing more than half a billion dollars Tuesday to revamp Yellowhead Trail.
Mayor Don Iveson said while $510.8-million in tax-supported debt might sound like a lot, it will work out to an average 0.176 per cent property tax increase for each of the next 10 years.
“It works out to, for the average household, the cost of a cup of coffee a year in terms of an increase,” Iveson said.
“So to be able to fix the Yellowhead, I think that’s a small price to pay for Edmonton taxpayers who have been telling us for decades that we need to improve traffic safety and efficiency along this busiest of economic corridors.”
Edmonton to borrow $510M to turn Yellowhead into freeway
Edmonton city council has given the green light for the city to borrow more than $500 million to upgrade Yellowhead Trail into a freeway.
The vote Tuesday was unanimous.
"We're going to fix the Yellowhead," Mayor Don Iveson said after the vote was displayed.
The $1-billion project will eliminate all the intersections along the busy 25-kilometre stretch of roadway, turning what is mostly a 70 km/h zone dotted with major intersections into a free-flowing freeway.
The money will also be spent on widening the Yellowhead to six lanes from 50th Street east to the North Saskatchewan River crossing, and widening Fort Road to six lanes from the Yellowhead to 66th Street.