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Today's federal budget could have big impact on Olds

When the federal budget is announced on March 28, there are several ways it could affect Olds, the town's chief administrative officer says

OLDS — When the federal budget is announced on March 28, there are several ways it could affect the Town of Olds, chief administrative officer Brent Williams says. 

One major way, he said in an email to the Albertan, is in regard to the Canada Community Building Fund (CCBF) formerly known as the federal gas tax.  

“The gas tax (now CCBF) is the largest revenue item affecting us and we hope to get clarity on the 2024 program renewal date with this budget," Williams wrote. 

Two other concerns he listed are the federal carbon tax and housing. 

“The carbon tax is already costing us tens of thousands of dollars, and with the scheduled rises, it will put even more pressure on our operating budgets, as many of our facilities are significant energy users (Aquatic Centre and Sportsplex primarily),” he wrote. 

Williams said housing is another issue in Olds with a federal impact. 

“Housing is also a serious concern,” he wrote. 

“Olds has very little inventory for sale and a long-term vacancy rate in rental properties close to zero per cent.  

“With the ambitious immigration targets set by the federal government, we both want to be partners in that resident/workforce growth but are concerned about where people are going to live.  

“Through the CMHC (Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation), some steps have been taken to provide low-interest loans to developers and (in some cases) municipalities. 

“But we believe the government needs to do much more to enable the private sector to build houses and apartments that people can actually afford to buy and rent.”

Doug Collie

About the Author: Doug Collie

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