THUNDER BAY – NEWS – “The business community is concerned with the ongoing increases in taxes and user fees and the limited interest within Council to reduce year-over-year operating spending,” says Charla Robinson, President of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce. “A majority of the reductions in this year’s budget were delays in spending that will need to be dealt with next year; there were very few changes made that will reduce expenses for the long term.“
Last night, City Council ratified the 2015 Budget resulting in a 3.83 percent increase in the tax levy for city taxpayers as well as increases in numerous user fees for business and residents.
Robinson says, “The past month of budget discussions has clearly shown that an external core services review is urgently needed to make Council and citizens aware of the number and cost of programs that are mandated by the Municipal Act as well as those that are not”.
“A community conversation about the value of non-core services is long overdue and must be a central theme of the strategic plan. An external core services review is an essential first step to an informed discussion on where increasingly scarce financial resources should be spent to achieve our city’s strategic objectives,”
added the Chamber President.
“The Chamber looks forward to working with Council, Administration and the community to achieve our shared vision of a city that is connected, healthy, vibrant and strong.”