City councillors are out of touch with residents after approving a budget for next year that comes with a 7.5-per-cent tax hike, says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“Wages are up by about four or five per cent in this city, but this hike is almost double that,” said Alberta director Scott Hennig.

“Council obviously didn’t work hard enough to look out for the average working family out there.”

City politicians approved the 2008 budget this week, complete with the biggest tax raise since 1983 after weeks of debate and one final, lengthy meeting.

However, council did keep the tax rate lower than the previous recommended rate of 10.9 per cent.

Coun. Ben Henderson disagrees with council’s decision by not sticking to the plans recommended.

“What I heard loud and clear from people when I was out there campaigning was they were willing to pay the taxes to make sure we were improving services they were receiving,” said Henderson. “I’m not convinced this budget is going to do that.”

Homeowners will pay $95 extra next year.