Review highlights of our Budget and Business Plan that is designed to balance the needs of our residents and community while advancing our priorities. Browse details of the full plan below.

2024 Budget Amendments

The trend of increasing inflation, rising costs, higher borrowing costs and decreased funding from all levels of government have continued. Simply put, the cost of delivering the same level of service continues to increase. We have seen increases to our staffing costs, utility costs, and the cost to deliver policing services through the RCMP. In the past, the answer to such pressures was to slash our savings and deprive reserves that are needed for future repairs, maintenance, and expansion of public facilities. That practice is not sustainable and so we deliberately did not go down this road again this year.

The result of those cost increases is a $77.0M operating budget and $21.3M capital budget. The budget represents a status quo level of services and programs being provided to the community.

Consequently, a 7.6% municipal property tax increase is anticipated for 2024. To put this in context, a residential unit at the 2023 median assessed value of $969,000 should expect a municipal property tax increase of approximately $12.58 per month. Our monitoring of 19 similar communities in the region shows that Canmore’s taxes per dwelling unit continue be around average.

In December 2022, Council approved a two-year capital budget for 2023 and 2024 that included $37.2 million expenditures for 2023 and $24.2 million expenditures for 2024. Approved capital expenditures for 2024 are now $21.3 million.

Normally a multi-year budget would not see many adjustments to the capital plan, this year is different. We are dealing with increasing costs, due to inflationary pressures and the need to update the five-year capital planning horizon, to offset the increased funding that was allocated towards the Cougar Creek Debris Retention Structure project. As such some 2024 projects were cancelled, deferred or amended.

Some significant projects in 2024 include: Railway Avenue phase two utility and complete street improvements and the Waste Water Treatment Plant odour control construction. 


The utility contains all the revenues and expenses necessary for providing water, wastewater, and waste services to the community. The utility budget is supported by the Utility Rate Model (URM), that is updated during each budget cycle and after a Utility Master Plan (UMP) update is completed. Since the approval of the 2023-2024 budget ($16.9 million in 2023 and $17.9 million in 2024), several changes occurred that needed to be considered in the URM:

  • Receiving a new 10-year Approval to Operate from the Government of Alberta,
  • A recent update to the UMP, and
  • Completed a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Capacity Evaluation and Technology Assessment study.

As such, rates needed to be adjusted to ensure appropriate reserve balances in the coming years.

2024 Rates for Water and Wastewater
To ensure the reserves balances are appropriate in the 5-year horizon, the 2024 rates for water and wastewater were amended to reflect an overall increase of 10.7%, approximately $5.72 per month on the average household.

The average commercial account is projected to increase by 10.7%.

2024 Rates for Waste and Recycling
To account for increased costs including hauling, the 2024 rates for waste and recycling were amended.

  • The rates for residential waste will increase 15.0%, approximately $2.97 per month.
  • The rates for residential recycling will increase 5.0%, approximately $0.87 per month.
  • The average commercial account is projected to increase by 5%, approximately $1.27 per month.

On August 22, 2017 the Town's Finance Committee adopted a Long Term Financial Strategy, a document that analyzes the Town’s present capital asset funding financial position and develops strategies and actions to address the calculated funding gap that exists between what is contained in Town planning documents and current financial resources. The Long term Financial Strategy provides guidance for preparing future capital project budgets.

Long Term Financial Strategy

A continued focus on livability in Canmore, will see work on the Housing Action Plan continue with a number of initiatives already underway. For more information on Housing Action click here. Improvements to our transit network will continue, with a new route starting in the spring, with service to Quarry Lake and the Canmore Nordic Centre.

Increasing education, removing wildlife attractants including replacing plants and shrubs will help reduce wildlife encounters in town. 

On the journey towards reconciliation, equity, diversity, and inclusion, the Town of Canmore will continue working more closely with our Indigenous neighbours, advancing efforts to eliminate systemic discrimination in the organization, and examining more possibilities for universal washrooms.

Increasing franchise fees in 2024 will generate revenue from not only municipal taxpayers, but also from renters, schools, churches, and the federal and provincial governments, who are exempt by law from paying municipal tax. By using a franchise fee to generate income from exempt community members, the burden of paying for Town of Canmore services is more equitably distributed. Franchise fees from ATCO and Fortis support capital requirements and climate action initiatives.

This budget reflects the cost of delivering existing services to the community. As the community grows, we need to determine sustainable service levels that can be reasonably achieved within the tax base. A service level review process is being underway to identify the highest priority areas and resources required to deliver those services and manage expectations. 

As caretakers of the community, the Town of Canmore budgets to fund a variety of programs and services that are either legislated, essential, or approved by Council such as:

  • services and practices to keep the community safe 
  • initiatives that improve sustainability 
  • outdoor spaces and indoor facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy 
  • a comprehensive transportation network of streets, roads, bridges, sidewalks, pathways, parking lots, and transit that move us through town
  • services that provide recreation opportunities, business supports, special events, social supports, neighbourhood connections, and affordability support services
  • waste, recycling, and organics collection, water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment and collection, storm water management, all part of the utility rates
  • all of the physical and virtual infrastructure as well as the human resources required to deliver these benefits.