Thunder Bay City Council Heads into Budget Deliberations

Thunder Bay City Hall
Thunder Bay City Hall

THUNDER BAY –

Thunder Bay City Hall - Council starting budget deliberations.
Thunder Bay City Hall – Council starting budget deliberations.

Thunder Bay – Civic Politics – Thunder Bay City Council is getting set to work on the 2014 budget. An increase of 3.45 per cent is proposed in the initial proposal brought down by Administration. City Council will now start the task of budget examination working toward the final The proposed 2014 municipal budget documents were released to the public today, and include a total 2014 tax levy that is proposed to be $5.5 million, or 3.45 per cent, higher than that of 2013.

“I’m pleased with the budget as a starting point for Council,” said Councillor Mark Bentz, Chair – Committee of the Whole Administrative Services Session. “The proposed budget includes an additional $2.5 million related to the Enhanced Infrastructure Renewal Program. When you exclude the additional infrastructure renewal, it really represents a 1.7 per cent overall increase to maintain City operations and services.”

The total 2014 tax increase is offset by the “real” growth realized in the overall tax base last year, which will generate new tax revenue, existing taxpayers will be asked to fund $3.4 million of the total tax levy, which amounts to an overall increase of 2.1 per cent, compared to 2013.

“The growth in the City’s tax base in 2013, and the resulting new taxation revenue, will contribute about $2.1 million of the proposed increase in the 2014 tax levy,” said City Manager Tim Commisso. “That growth is attributable to new construction completed in 2013 and doesn’t include the reassessment of existing properties by MPAC.”

“The proposed 2014 budget allows the City to maintain the services our residents expect and value, while again increasing our annual investment in infrastructure renewal,” said Carol Pollard, City Treasurer and General Manager – Finance and Corporate Services. “Municipal budgets are a balancing act, and the proposed 2014 budget serves as a fiscally-responsible starting point for the detailed review by City Council.”

The City Manager will also be providing budget decision packages (including proposed options for reductions and enhancements) for Council to consider as part of its 2014 budget deliberations. Similar to 2012 and 2013, the proposed tax-supported budget includes $1.5 million in net savings to be realized during 2014.

City Council’s 2014 detailed budget review of both the tax- and rate-supported operations begins on February 4, and ratification is scheduled to take place on March 3. The proposed 2014 capital and operating budgets are now available online at www.thunderbay.ca/budget and at the Waverley and Brodie library branches.