City Budget Review Later This Month

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(THUNDER BAY, ON) – The proposed 2019 Municipal Budget forms the starting point for City Council’s detailed review and provides an increase in the municipal tax levy after growth of $5.6 million or 2.95%.

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“The demand for services continues to rise in our City, especially in the areas of emergency services and public safety,” said Norm Gale, City Manager. “This budget addresses this without substantial cuts or decreases to services.”

“Additional funding for emergency services and our Long Term Care facility assisted in offsetting inflationary and other externally driven cost increases,” said Linda Evans, General Manager – Corporate Services & Long Term Care, Treasurer. “This budget proposes an increase to capital funding, recommended as we work towards addressing the City’s infrastructure funding gap.”

2019 Key Budget Drivers

  • Removal of one-time contribution from Stabilization Reserve Fund to lower 2018 tax levy – $1.1 million
  • Expansion to Police Services Board – $0.9 million
  • Expansion to Superior North EMS Paramedic Services – $0.4 million
  • Other expansions primarily relating to roads and safety management – $0.5 million
  • Continued transitioning of Solid Waste Diversion costs to tax supported operations – $0.6 million
  • Increase in Solid Waste Diversion contracted services – $0.6 million
  • Increase to the capital budget funded by the tax levy – $1.2 million
  • Estimated reduction in annual funding through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund – $0.9 million

Key drivers have been offset by an increase in provincial grant funding for Superior North EMS and Long Term Care & Senior Services of $1.2 million, an increase in corporate revenues of $1.2 million along with operating reductions of $2 million primarily relating to reduced fringe benefit expenses, utility savings and the phase out of the tax vacancy rebate program.

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Investment in infrastructure renewal continues. The proposed 2019 Net Capital budget of $17.6 million represents an increase of $1.2 million over 2018 levels.

A Public Pre-Budget Deputation Meeting will take place on Thursday, Jan. 10, at 6:30 pm, at City Hall in Council Chambers.  Council’s Budget Reviews will take place on Jan. 15, 17, 23, 30 with approval expected on Monday, Feb. 4.

The proposed 2019 Capital and Operating Budgets and Community Handbook are now available at the Waverley and Brodie Library branches, and online at: thunderbay.ca/budget.

Source: City of Thunder Bay

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2 Replies to “City Budget Review Later This Month”

  1. What I would LOVE to see happen in this city is reversal of the overburden of taxation on both residential and business ratepayers.

    Some folks turn to drugs/alcohol/crime when they are depressed due to the crushing economic conditions that the yearly tax increases have at least partly caused. We must include the ridiculous increases to Water and Hydro in the big picture as they are a form of taxation the city uses as well. Oh ya, let’s not forget the reduction of garbage cans and implementation of the “extra can tax”.

    Hopefully, this mostly new council will direct administration to SEEK efficiencies and actually take the bold and wise step to reduce the tax burden on the citizens, so that they can pull out of economic stress and actually have disposable income to spend around town (which helps our local economy). I have heard many suggest an audit of the entire city corporation by an independent auditor; that would be a very wise starting point to helping this community turn around and start to prosper again.

    Many citizens are on fixed incomes, and even those who aren’t are lucky to see a 1 or 2 % annual pay increase. How can the 3 to 5% increase in taxes (PLUS the increased MPAC property values which naturally increase the property taxes we pay) go on forever???? Answer is simple: they cannot!

    Here is hoping that BRAVE people will do the right thing come budget time.

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